The Best Solar Eclipse PhotosS

If you were lucky enough to live in Asia or the western United States or anywhere in between, you would've been graced with the clear sight of what looked like a ring of fire in the sky. Or more specifically, an annular eclipse. If you missed the eclipse, don't worry, we got you. Here are the best pictures we've seen.

But why does an annular eclilpse happen, and why is it so rare?

The answer is tied to the supermoon from a few weeks ago. That giant—although sometimes deflated—lunar spectacle occurred because the moon was at its fullest when it was also the closest to Earth it will be all year. The astrophysical term for the latter is perigee, which is greek for GIANT WOLFMAN MOON.

But because the moon's orbit follows an ellipse, if it's closer than usual to the Earth in one cycle that means it will also end up being further away. That was last night: A moon so tiny that it failed to block out the sun when their paths crossed.

The picture above was taken in Japan by Joseph Tame. He actually has video of the raw footage of the eclipse, if you fancy a look. Looking at all of the pictures of the eclipse, the sky looked like it held a suspended icy ring of fire. Or maybe even a halo. Either way, they're amazing.

If you missed out last night, don't fret. The next annular is expected May 10, 2013, and even if it skips your corner of the Earth again you should be able to watch online. Who knows? Maybe our post-apocalyptic war lords will make a holiday out of it.

(Photo Credit Joseph Tame)

If you have any pictures of the Ring of Fire solar eclipse, be sure to send them to us here.

The Best Solar Eclipse PhotosS

(Photo Credit AP)

The Best Solar Eclipse PhotosS

Taken in China (Photo Credit AP)

The Best Solar Eclipse PhotosS

Taken in Philippines (Photo Credit AP)

The Best Solar Eclipse Photos

Taken by Gizmodo reader Desiree

The Best Solar Eclipse PhotosS

Taken in Philippines (Photo Credit AP)

The Best Solar Eclipse PhotosS

(Photo Credit AP)

The Best Solar Eclipse PhotosS

Taken in Japan (Photo Credit AP)