Definitions for "Annular eclipse"
Keywords:  eclipse, annulus, sunlight, moon, solar
The distance from the Earth to the Moon varies slightly since the Moon's orbit around the earth is slightly elliptical (oval shaped). When the Moon is farther from the Earth the disk of the Moon appears smaller. When closer, the disk appears larger. During some eclipses, the Moon is relatively far away and the apparent size of the Moon is correspondingly smaller. During these eclipses, the Moon appears too small to completely cover the Sun and the eclipse is a kind of partial eclipse where a ring of sunlight is visible around the edges of the moon. There are more annular eclipses than total eclipses. This was not always the case as the Moon is slowly getting farther from the Earth. Eventually, there will be no more total eclipses. Eclipse photographs copyright 1999 by Fred Espenak, courtesy of
This is a partial solar eclipse in which the Moon is not close enough to the Earth to completely block out the Sun's light. When the Moon is centered on the Sun there is still an uncovered ring of sunlight.
An eclipse where the Moon is too far from the Earth for the Moon to completely cover the Sun. This leaves the outer edge of the Sun to be seen as a ring.