Annular eclipses are similar to total eclipses since they both occur when the moon lines up with the sun. But in this case, the moon is near apogee — the farthest point from Earth in its orbit around our planet — so it's too small in the sky to cover the sun's face completely. On May 20, 2012, an annular solar eclipse of the sun occurred when the moon blocked about 94 percent of the sun. What is seen is sometimes called a, "Ring of Fire". It is a beautiful sight. Depending on where it is at in its orbit, the eclipse can be a total or annular eclipse. The next total solar eclipse in the United States will be August 21, 2017.