It was a spectacular sight as people witnessed the "ring of Fire" eclipse - as the moon passed between Earth and the sun, leaving a ring of fire in the sky.

Sky gazers in Asia and North America witnessed the rare astronomical phenomenon of annular solar eclipse on Sunday and early Monday. In an annular solar eclipse, the moon does not completely block the sun, but leaves a fiery ring around its edges. It was also visible from parts of China before moving westwards across Taiwan and Japan. In the US, the eclipse was also viewed in Reno, Nevada and Oakland. According to a BBC report, hundreds of people travelled to the Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico that was hailed as one of the best vantage points. In Japan, "eclipse tours" were organised from schools, parks, on pleasure boats and even private airplanes.

"It's like moving your fist in front of your eyes," Jeffrey Newmark, a NASA Space Scientist told Reuters. "You can block out the view of a whole mountain. It's the same kind of effect."

He said that the next solar eclipse will not occur until 2023 as it requires a particular set of orbital dynamics.

"It was a very mysterious sight," said Kaori Sasaki, who joined a crowd in downtown Tokyo to watch event told New York Newsday, "I've never seen anything like it."

The eclipse followed a narrow 8,500-mile path for three and half hours, while the "ring of fire" lasted for about five minutes, depending on area. Those outside the narrow band for prime viewing saw a partial eclipse. Methodically, a partial and annular solar eclipse occurs when the sun and the moon coincide exactly in a line and the actual size of the moon is smaller than that of the sun.

Check out the images of annular solar eclipse around the world.

Bus tour guides look at an annular eclipse at a rooftop of the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo May 21, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event on Sunday - an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.
Bus tour guides look at an annular eclipse at a rooftop of the Roppongi Hills complex in Tokyo May 21, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event on Sunday - an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.Reuters
School children using solar viewers lie down on a lawn as they observe an annular eclipse at Hirai Daini Elementary School in Tokyo May 21, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.
School children using solar viewers lie down on a lawn as they observe an annular eclipse at Hirai Daini Elementary School in Tokyo May 21, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.Reuters
A dog is seen wearing a solar viewer during an annular solar eclipse at a temporary shelter for evacuees from last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster, in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in this photo taken by Kyodo May 21, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.
A dog is seen wearing a solar viewer during an annular solar eclipse at a temporary shelter for evacuees from last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster, in Koriyama, Fukushima prefecture in this photo taken by Kyodo May 21, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.Reuters
People watch a rare annular eclipse dim the sky, as the sun and moon align for
People watch a rare annular eclipse dim the sky, as the sun and moon align for "ring of fire" spectacle over the southwestern town of Kanarraville, Utah, May 20, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire. Eclipses of some type occur almost every year, but stargazers have not seen an annular - shaped like a ring - eclipse on U.S. soil since 1994, and the next one is not to occur until 2023.Reuters
Craig Halbasch watches a rare annular eclipse dims the sky, as the sun and moon align for
Craig Halbasch watches a rare annular eclipse dims the sky, as the sun and moon align for "ring of fire" spectacle over the southwestern town of Kanarraville, Utah, May 20, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire. Eclipses of some type occur almost every year, but stargazers have not seen an annular - shaped like a ring - eclipse on U.S. soil since 1994, and the next one is not to occur until 2023.Reuters
A child poses for pictures in front of a board, which shows the different phases of an annular solar eclipse, in Hong Kong May 21, 2012. Hundreds of people waited at Avenue of Stars to view the annular solar eclipse were not able to see the eclipse due to bad weather condition
A child poses for pictures in front of a board, which shows the different phases of an annular solar eclipse, in Hong Kong May 21, 2012. Hundreds of people waited at Avenue of Stars to view the annular solar eclipse were not able to see the eclipse due to bad weather conditionReuters
Shirts depicting an eclipse are sold by vendors before a rare annular eclipse dims the sky, in the southwestern town of Kanarraville, Utah, May 20, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event on Sunday - an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire. Eclipses of some type occur almost every year, but stargazers have not seen an annular - shaped like a ring - eclipse on U.S. soil since 1994, and the next one is not to occur until 2023.
Shirts depicting an eclipse are sold by vendors before a rare annular eclipse dims the sky, in the southwestern town of Kanarraville, Utah, May 20, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event on Sunday - an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire. Eclipses of some type occur almost every year, but stargazers have not seen an annular - shaped like a ring - eclipse on U.S. soil since 1994, and the next one is not to occur until 2023.Reuters
Dennis Vitt, 38, looks at an annular eclipse through a welding mask in Los Angeles, California May 20, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.
Dennis Vitt, 38, looks at an annular eclipse through a welding mask in Los Angeles, California May 20, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.Reuters
A rare annular eclipse dims the sky, as the sun and moon align for
A rare annular eclipse dims the sky, as the sun and moon align for "ring of fire" spectacle over the southwestern town of Kanarraville, Utah, May 20, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire. Annular eclipses are rare and haven't been visible on U.S. soil since 1994 and the next one won't occur again until 2023Reuters
An annular eclipse is seen at Monument Valley Tribal Park in Utah May 20, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.
An annular eclipse is seen at Monument Valley Tribal Park in Utah May 20, 2012. The sun and moon aligned over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.Reuters
A partial eclipse is pictured behind a statue in Taiwan's notherneast coast in New Taipei city May 21, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asiaand North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.
A partial eclipse is pictured behind a statue in Taiwan's notherneast coast in New Taipei city May 21, 2012. The sun and moon will align over the earth in a rare astronomical event - an annular eclipse that will dim the skies over parts of Asiaand North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire.Reuters