<p>The moon nearly blots out the <a id="mwyp" title="sun" href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/sun-article.html">sun</a> on January 4 during an annular eclipse captured here by Japan's <a id="xwa." title="Hinode satellite" href="http://www.jaxa.jp/projects/sat/solar_b/index_e.html">Hinode satellite</a>. During an annular eclipse, the moon is slightly farther from <a id="stgj" title="Earth" href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/earth.html">Earth</a> than usual and so appears smaller than during a total eclipse—leaving the edges of the sun visible.</p><p>(See more <a id="ho93" title="annular eclipse pictures" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/photogalleries/100115-eclipse-ring-fire-annular-pictures/">annular eclipse pictures</a>.)</p>

Ring of Fire, Seen From Space

The moon nearly blots out the sun on January 4 during an annular eclipse captured here by Japan's Hinode satellite. During an annular eclipse, the moon is slightly farther from Earth than usual and so appears smaller than during a total eclipse—leaving the edges of the sun visible.

(See more annular eclipse pictures.)

Image courtesy Hinode/XRT

Space Pictures This Week: Ring of Fire, Rare Moon, More

A solar eclipse occasions a blazing halo, Earth-size jets shoot from the sun, and more in this week's best space pictures.

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