As the Moon passes in front of the Sun, it transforms into Pac-Man.
On Thursday, a “ring of fire” solar eclipse thrilled viewers across the northern hemisphere, with one video shot in Maryland depicting the sun as Pac-Man from the video game.
The solar eclipse began at 8:12 a.m. UTC in its first visible position, ended at 11:33 a.m. UTC in its last visible position, and peaked at 10:41 a.m. UTC.
The full “ring of fire” experience, or annular eclipse, was witnessed in parts of Russia, Greenland, and northern Canada, where the moon obscured the sun and left only a sliver visible. Instead, people in some parts of the United States, Northern Asia, and Europe saw a fragmentary version.
That includes Maryland, where a skywatcher called Israel Joffe captured the phenomena at 5:50 a.m. local time in North Bethesda. He posted the video to Twitter, using hashtags like “#PacMan” and calling it “amazing.”
Joffe was one of the many people who took to Twitter to celebrate the solar eclipse, which resulted in the hashtag #SolarEclipse trending on the internet on Thursday.
What is a solar eclipse, and how does it happen?
When the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, it casts a shadow above our globe, which is known as a solar eclipse. Every year and a half, a solar eclipse will be visible somewhere on Earth, and there will be 224 solar eclipses throughout the twenty-first century, including six complete eclipses in the 2020s.
Unlike the annular eclipse on Thursday, the moon completely obscures the sun from Earth during a total eclipse.
The next annular eclipse will be visible from sections of the Western United States, Central America, Colombia, and Brazil on October 14, 2023.
On December 4, 2021, a total solar eclipse will be seen from Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, followed by another on April 20, 2023, visible from East Timor, Indonesia, and Australia.
The next total eclipse will take place in 2024 in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Solar eclipses may seem like a relatively common phenomenon, but we earthlings are incredibly lucky to be able to witness them as a number of things need to coincide for them to happen.
For example, the moon is around 400 times smaller than the sun while also being 400 times closer. This is a brief summary.