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Just after sunrise over the eastern half of North America, the sun was almost completely blotted out by the moon for a few dawn hours in an annular solar eclipse. During such an eclipse, the black silhouette of the moon — too far from Earth to completely cover the sun — will be surrounded by a thin ring of our home star’s surface, or photosphere. Many know this as a “ring of fire,” but few will get to experience the full effect. The eclipse started just after sunrise north of Lake Superior as it crossed remote regions of Canada and then into Greenland and the Arctic Ocean before going over the North Pole.

A partial solar eclipse rises over the skyline of Toronto.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

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People watch the partial solar eclipse from Brorfelde Observatory at Toelloese in Denmark.RITZAU SCANPIX/Reuters

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A eclipsed sun rises over Tobermory in Ontario.GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images

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A man uses a monocular to cast a reflection of a partial solar eclipse on a paper in Ronda, southern Spain.JON NAZCA/Reuters

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A partial solar eclipse rises over construction cranes and the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

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A bird is silhouetted against the sun as the moon blocks part of the sun during a partial solar eclipse in St. Petersburg, Russia.Dmitri Lovetsky/The Canadian Press

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A child look through a filter as people sit waiting to see the partial solar eclipse at the Brorfelde Observatory in Tollose, Denmark.CLAUS BECH/AFP/Getty Images

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A partial solar eclipse, pictured in Gaiberg near Heidelberg, southwestern Germany.DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images

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Students from the Broeders' School look at a partial solar eclipse, in Roeselare.KURT DESPLENTER/AFP/Getty Images

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Birds fly as solar eclipse is observed in the morning in St. Catharines, Ontario.TREVOR JONES / @ASTROBACKYARD/Reuters

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Members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York watch as the sun rises partially eclipsed from Summit One Vanderbilt, a high rise in New York City.STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

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A partial solar eclipse is seen as the sun rises behind the Capitol Building in Arlington, Virginia.NASA/Bill Ingalls/Getty Images

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