<p><strong>A <a href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/solar-eclipse-article/">solar eclipse</a> turns the disk of the sun into a wide orange grin over Gumaca in the Philippines on Monday morning, local time. Although the sun is only minimally covered in this picture, the so-called annular eclipse went on to create a "ring of fire" for sky-watchers in parts of Asia and the U.S. West.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>An annular eclipse happens when the moon lines up between Earth and the sun, and when the dark moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the visible disk of the sun, leaving a ring—or annulus—of fiery light around the edges.</p><p>(See more<a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/photogalleries/100115-eclipse-ring-fire-annular-pictures/"> annular solar eclipse pictures</a>.)</p><p>Because of the vagaries of time zones, this weekend's "time traveling" solar eclipse started in China on Monday around sunrise, raced across the Pacific Ocean, and made "landfall" again in the United States on Sunday evening. </p><p><em>—With reporting by Andrew Fazekas</em></p>

"Smiling" Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse turns the disk of the sun into a wide orange grin over Gumaca in the Philippines on Monday morning, local time. Although the sun is only minimally covered in this picture, the so-called annular eclipse went on to create a "ring of fire" for sky-watchers in parts of Asia and the U.S. West. 

An annular eclipse happens when the moon lines up between Earth and the sun, and when the dark moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the visible disk of the sun, leaving a ring—or annulus—of fiery light around the edges.

(See more annular solar eclipse pictures.)

Because of the vagaries of time zones, this weekend's "time traveling" solar eclipse started in China on Monday around sunrise, raced across the Pacific Ocean, and made "landfall" again in the United States on Sunday evening.

—With reporting by Andrew Fazekas

Photograph by Bullit Marquez, AP

Solar Eclipse Pictures: 2012 "Ring of Fire" Dazzles U.S., Asia

See stunning images of the annular eclipse that created a "ring of fire" enjoyed by millions of sky-watchers in Asia and the U.S. West.

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