"Ring of Fire" Eclipse wow Asia, U.S. sky-gazers
Monday, May 21, 2012
U.S.: Millions turned their eyes skyward on both sides of the Pacific as a solar eclipse has created a "ring of fire" from Asia to the western United States, where he was greeted with whoops California. The annular eclipse was visible from parts of China Monday morning before moving westward across Taiwan and Japan, and continues across the Pacific on an arc of 13 600 km (8500 - mile) ending in Texas late Sunday hours local.
"It was really great," said Geoff Reid, 28, of Santa Cruz, a "viewing party" on a huge terrace overlooking Los Angeles, after Eve-style countdown to New Year peaked with huge cheers at the peak of the eclipse.
"We are traveling with children, visiting Disneyland. Then we heard what was happening, we had to come, "said British tourist Ian Hunter, among the thousands gathered at the Griffith Observatory on a hill near the iconic Hollywood sign.
In Asia, the clouds across much of south-east China has prevented a clear vision, with some early birds in Hong Kong able to see just a small slice of the "ring" and other coming eclipse disappointed.
An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes over the sun, but it is too far from Earth to block it completely, leaving the "ring of fire" visible.
However, many of Tokyo got a spectacular view as the sprawling capital of Japan for 30 million people received its first glimpse of this in 173 years.
Sadanobu Takahashi, 60, from Akita Prefecture in northern Japan, said he and his wife joined a special two-day visit to Tokyo to watch the eclipse from the top of a building of 54 floors in the district of Roppongi.
"Look! Now is a perfect ring. How wonderful! "Did he shouted.
About 200 people gathered on the rooftop terrace, where two years Ichikawa Hikaru ran around with vision goggles specially designed to protect his eyes, crying: "I can see, I can see!" Men of Commuters Business school children arrested in the streets of Tokyo to watch the eclipse developed, applauded when it became visible.