11 awesome photos that * won’t * melt your retinas

On Sunday, June 21, the Sun, Moon, and Earth lined up in a rare occurrence. The annual solar eclipse took place a day after the celebrated summer solstice, and was visible to those who were fortunate enough to witness it in Central Africa, the Southern Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, northern India, and southern and central China. .

A partial eclipse was also observed in most of Asia, Africa, southern and eastern Europe, northern Australia, and parts of the Pacific and Indian oceans.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is nestled right in the middle between the Sun and Earth during its orbit, blocking the light from our host star. Sunlight appears as a burning ‘ring of fire’ from behind the shadow of the Moon.

For those of us who were not fortunate enough to have witnessed it in person, we can still observe this rare event in stunning photos captured by stargazers from around the world.

VCG / Visual China Group / Getty Images

The moment of the total solar eclipse seen from China, with the faint ‘ring of fire’ of the Sun appearing behind the shadow cast by the Moon.

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

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

Hindustan Times / Hindustan Times / Getty Images

The evolution of the solar eclipse, which lasted almost four hours, as the Moon slowly covers the sunlight.

A view of the solar eclipse captured by astronaut Chris Cassidy from 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 crawling on Earth captured by Japan’s Himawari satellite.

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

Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

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

An amateur photographer captures this view of the solar eclipse over Calcutta.

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

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