The moon covering the sun, leaving a ring of fire effect around the moon, during an annular solar eclipse over Saint-Louis, on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, Sept. 1, 2016.
Richard Bouhet—AFP/Getty Images
By Marisa Gertz
September 1, 2016

Known as a “ring of fire“, an annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun, but is not near enough to us to totally block it out.

On September 1st, this phenomena was visible to a narrow band of central and southern Africa, including Madagascar and the island of La Reunion, where this photo was captured. Outside of that band, stargazers in the rest of the continent, and even as far north as Europe, could see partial phases.

The next ring of fire will be visible across eastern South America on February 26th of next year. The next total solar eclipse will be visible next August over the United States, for the first time in 37 years, National Geographic reports.

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