<p>Seen from one of Japan's <a href="http://www.jma.go.jp/jma/jma-eng/satellite/">MTSAT meteorological satellites</a>, the shadow of the moon darkens part of the North Pacific during the annular solar eclipse last Sunday and Monday. Despite the diminutive shadow shown, the moon is actually a little bigger than a quarter the size of Earth.</p><p>An annular eclipse happens when the moon lines up between Earth and the <a href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/sun-article.html">sun</a>, 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/">2012 annular solar eclipse pictures</a>.)</p>

Following a Moon Shadow

Seen from one of Japan's MTSAT meteorological satellites, the shadow of the moon darkens part of the North Pacific during the annular solar eclipse last Sunday and Monday. Despite the diminutive shadow shown, the moon is actually a little bigger than a quarter the size of Earth.

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 2012 annular solar eclipse pictures.)

Image courtesy PHL/UPR Arecibo

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