U.S. skies dazzle during ‘ring of fire’ eclipse

Written by By Bobby Timmons, CNN

A partial lunar eclipse painted a reddish ring on the moon Friday night, stunning observers from around the world.

The “ring of fire” eclipse — where the Earth takes the place of the sun — was visible in the western, northern and eastern hemispheres, although the moon was too near to the sun to be totally covered.

In India, and particularly in Gujarat, from where CNN’s Lee Boyce reports, there was real drama as the last 15 minutes of the eclipse produced some spectacular lighting.

“Where we live, the moon comes near the sun,” said Salman Ansari, founder of Planetarium Air , a project to build an “aurora borealis” in India and around the world. “It actually makes it glow with [a reddish tone]. Normally it is not this distinctive, but because of the proximity of the sun we can see a glowing ring around the moon. That’s a good thing — it makes you feel blessed.”

The worst of the eclipse came in Indonesia, South Africa and Dubai, but this was far from the first eclipse to have great drama in these parts.

In 1999, one in July had ominous clouds framing the lunar eclipse, producing “starry-red,” viewers like Justin Nichols, who was in northern Pakistan, told CNN.

And in 1999, a solar eclipse — which occurs when the moon transits in front of the sun — on a similarly spectacular scale became an “eye-popping sight.”

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