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Last solar eclipse of the decade wows across Asia

08:44 | 27/12/2019

Check out these spectacular photos of the last solar eclipse of the decade across Asia.

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An airplane flies past as the moon moves to cover the sun in a solar eclipse as seen from Hanoi. Photo: AFP

People across Asia watch in awe as the moon moves to cover the sun, forming a rare annular solar eclipse on December 26.

An annular solar eclipse happens when the moon covers the sun's centre, leaving the sun's visible outer edges forming a ring around the moon. It occurs when the moon is farthest from the earth and appears smaller, hence not blocking the entire view of the sun, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

While these types of eclipses occur every year or two, they are only visible from a narrow band of Earth each time and it can be decades before the same pattern is repeated.

While these types of eclipses occur every year or two, they are only visible from a narrow band of Earth each time and it can be decades before the same pattern is repeated.

Depending on weather conditions, this year's astronomical phenomenon was set to be visible from the Middle East across southern India and Southeast Asia before ending over the northern Pacific.

last solar eclipse of the decade wows across asia
Monks wearing solar filter glasses watch a "ring of fire" solar eclipse at the Gaden monastery in a Tibetan colony in Teginkoppa, 50km south of Dharwad in India's southern Karnataka state, on Dec 26, 2019. Photo: AFP/Rakesh Nagar

In southern India, people gathered on the beaches in Tamil Nadu to watch the event.

But in New Delhi, cloud and pollution blocked the view.

The eastern state of Odisha declared a public holiday, with all government offices, courts, schools and colleges closed.

In Indonesia, hundreds of people gathered outside Jakarta Planetarium to watch the event using protective glasses supplied by the planetarium, hoping for clear skies at the time of maximum eclipse.

Outside the narrow band where the "Ring of fire" effect can be observed, skywatchers would see a partial solar eclipse.

It is dangerous to look at the sun through binoculars or telescopes without special filters as it can cause permanent eye damage.

The next annual eclipse in June 2020 will be visible to a narrow band from Africa to northern Asia.

The following one in June 2021 will only be seen in the Arctic and parts of Canada, Greenland and the remote Russian far east.

last solar eclipse of the decade wows across asia
The moon moves to cover the sun. Photo: Tân Trần
last solar eclipse of the decade wows across asia
View of the annular solar eclipse taken from Vietnam. Photo: Ngân Nhum
last solar eclipse of the decade wows across asia
The moon moves in front of the sun during the start of the rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse in Jakarta. Photo: AFP/Bay Ismoyo
last solar eclipse of the decade wows across asia
The moon totally covers the sun in a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse as seen from the south Indian city of Dindigul in Tamil Nadu state on Dec 26, 2019. Photo: AFP/Arun Sankar
last solar eclipse of the decade wows across asia
View of the eclipse taken at Marina Barrage. Photo: Jeremy Long