An annular solar eclipse rises over the horizon in Xiamen in southeastern China's Fujian province Monday May 21, 2012. Millions of Asians watched as a rare "ring of fire" eclipse crossed their skies early Monday.
An annular solar eclipse is partially seen at sunrise Monday, May 21, 2012, from the coastal township of Gumaca, Quezon province, 187 kilometers (116 miles) southeast of Manila, Philippines
The sun sets between the grain elevators in Abbyville, Kan., during an annular eclipse Sunday, May 20, 2012. The annular eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges, was visible to wide areas across China, Japan and elsewhere in the region before moving across the Pacific to be seen in parts of the western United States.
An annular solar eclipse appears in Fujisawa, near Tokyo, Monday, May 21, 2012.
A COMPLETE WBEN PHOTO ALBUM.
See over 50 Pictures from around the World
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- From a park near Albuquerque, to the top of Japan's Mount Fuji, to the California coast the effect was dramatic: The moon nearly blotting out the sun creating a blazing "ring of fire" eclipse.
Millions of people across a narrow strip of eastern Asia and the Western U.S. turned their sights skyward for the annular eclipse, in which the moon passes in front of the sun leaving only a golden ring around its edges.
The rare lunar-solar alignment was visible in Asia early Monday before it moved across the Pacific - and the international dateline - where it was seen in parts of the western United States late Sunday afternoon.
People from Colorado, Oklahoma and as far away as Canada traveled to Albuquerque to enjoy one of the best vantage points at a park on the edge of the city.
Members of the crowd smiled and cheered and children yelled with excitement as the moon crossed the sun and the blazing halo of light began to form. Some watched the eclipse by placing their viewing glasses on the front of their smartphones.
Eventually, the moon centered and covered about 96 percent of the sun.
"That's got to be the prettiest thing I've ever seen," said Brent Veltri of Salida, Colo.
Elsewhere, viewing parties were held at observatories in Reno, Nev., and Oakland, Calif.
In some areas, special camera filters for taking photographs have been sold out for weeks in anticipation of the big event.