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Baily's Beads

Baily's Beads

Annular eclipses, are similar to total eclipses in that they 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. Baily's beads occur when the moon "grazes" by the Sun during a solar eclipse, the lunar limb allows beads of sunlight to shine through in some places, and not in others.