Despite the cloudy weather, an annular solar eclipse was visible from the Kyushu to Tohoku regions on May 21, the first time the astronomical event was seen in Japan in 25 years.
The annular eclipse could be observed from a strip on the Earth's surface hundreds of kilometers wide from China to North America. Many major Japanese cities, including Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, were within that band.
In Tokyo, Shizuoka Prefecture and other areas, early risers had an opportunity to view the “ring of fire” when 97 percent of the sun was covered by the moon for five minutes.
A partial eclipse was visible across the country.
An annular eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are in line, but size of the moon appears smaller than that of the sun, creating a golden ring.
The last annular eclipse visible from Japan was observed in Okinawa Prefecture on Sept. 23, 1987. The next one can be seen in 2030 in Hokkaido.
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