This stunning composite image is making the rounds on social media today. It’s from last Sunday (February 26, 2017) when the new moon moved directly in front of the sun, creating a solar eclipse. This was an annular eclipse, or ring of fire eclipse; that is, the moon was in a distant part of its orbit and not large enough as seen from Earth to cover the sun completely. At mid-eclipse, an outer ring of the sun’s surface appeared around the moon. The image comes from Vincent Bouchama , who was in northern Patagonia on eclipse day.
At Vincent’s location that day, the annular phase of the eclipse lasted a only 45 seconds.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.