Posted on December 27, 2019

Skywatchers in Qatar were treated to a rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse Thursday. A large number of people gathered in Katara in front of the planetarium at Building 41 to watch the Annular Solar Eclipse.

People used special filters and protective glasses to watch the eclipse as there is no safe period to observe an annular solar eclipse. "The last eclipse I saw was many years ago and I took a day off from work to come here and see this rare phenomenon. Unfortunately, the sky was not very clear in Doha, but nevertheless, we were able to see the eclipse and I am very happy about it,” Rami M said.

The partial eclipse started at 5:32 am and ended at 7:50 am with the maximum eclipse seen at 6:35 am. Annular eclipses occur when the Moon is not close enough to the Earth to completely obscure the Sun, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible in some countries. 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. This year's astronomical phenomenon was visible from the Middle East across southern India and Southeast Asia before ending over the northern Pacific.

The next annular eclipse in June 2020 and 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.

source: The Peninsula