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'Ring of fire' eclipse burns across the sky — see the dazzling photos

Breathtaking scenes were captured early Thursday of the "ring of fire" — the first solar eclipse of 2021 that was seen from Russia to parts of the U.S.
/ Source: TODAY

People in parts of the Northern Hemisphere looked up to the sky to see a "ring of fire" early Thursday.

The first solar eclipse of 2021 produced some dazzling images as the moon passed between the sun and Earth but didn't fully block out the sun's light, leaving the moon looking like a dark disc encircled by a ring of the sun.

Rare Sunrise Eclipse Entrances Northeast States
The sun rises next to the Statue of Liberty during an annular eclipse on Thursday. Gary Hershorn / Getty Images

Skywatchers in parts of northern Russia, Greenland and Canada were able to witness the annular eclipse for about four minutes before sunrise at 4:41 a.m. EST on Thursday.

Rare Sunrise Eclipse Entrances Northeast States
A partial solar eclipse is seen behind the Capitol Building on Thursday in Arlington, Virginia. Bill Ingalls / Getty Images

For much of the U.S. and Canada, it was less a ring of fire and more of a crescent-shaped moon that appeared before and shortly after sunrise because it was a partial solar eclipse and not a full one. In a partial eclipse, the moon looks bigger against the sun, making the sun appear like a Pac-Man taking a bite out of the moon.

Rare Sunrise Eclipse Entrances Northeast States
A partial solar eclipse is seen as the sun rises behind the Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse on Thursday in Lewes, Delaware. Aubrey Gemignani / NASA via Getty Images

The partial solar eclipse was visible in parts of the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest and northern Alaska starting at 5:25 a.m. EST, according to NASA.

Partial solar eclipse
A partial solar eclipse rises over the Baltimore skyline on Thursday as seen from Arbutus, Maryland. Julio Cortez / AP
Solar eclipse in New York
A partial solar eclipse is seen during early hours of morning in New York on Thursday. Islam Dogru / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The scene like something out of "Blade Runner 2049" came on the heels of last month's "super flower blood moon," a total lunar eclipse that gives the moon a reddish appearance at the same time the moon appears bigger in the sky because it is slightly closer to Earth. It was seen over eastern Asia, the Pacific Ocean and areas west of the Rockies in the U.S.