ring of fire

11 breathtaking photos of the solar eclipse that will melt your retinas

If you couldn't see it for yourself, you can still marvel at its beauty in these photos.

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On Sunday, June 21, the Sun, moon and Earth were aligned in a rare occurrence. The annual solar eclipse took place a day after the celebrated summer solstice, and was visible for those lucky enough to be able to witness it in Central Africa, the Southern Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, Northern India, and South Central China.

A partial eclipse was also visible in most of Asia, Africa, Southern, and Eastern Europe, Northern Australia and parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

A solar eclipse takes place when the Moon is wedged right in the middle between the Sun and the Earth during its orbit, blocking the light of our host star. The Sun's light appears as a burning 'ring of fire' from behind the shadow of the Moon.

for those of us not lucky enough to have witnessed it in person, we can still observe this rare event in stunning photos captured by stargazers across the world.

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The moment of total solar eclipse as seen from China, with the Sun's faint 'ring of fire' appearing behind the shadow cast over it by the Moon.

A partial eclipse was visible from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as seen glimmering behind the shadow of the city's famous skyscraper, Burj Khalifa.

A time lapse image of the total solar eclipse as captured from Xiamen, China.

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The evolution of the solar eclipse, which lasted for nearly four hours, as the Moon slowly covers the light of the Sun.

A view of the solar eclipse captured by astronaut Chris Cassidy from onboard the International Space Station, which flies approximately 250 miles above Earth.

Another view of the solar eclipse from space, this time showing the Moon's shadow creeping up on Earth as captured by Japan's Himawari satellite.

The 'ring of fire' shines in this image of the solar eclipse as seen from Taiwan, East Asia.

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A partial solar eclipse could also be seen from Nairobi, Kenya.

An amateur photographer captures this view of the solar eclipse above Kolkata.

Another view of the solar eclipse as it progressed during the day, captured above the skies in Surat, India.

Sky gazers in India captured these stunning images of the solar eclipse.

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