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.