Ready for the ‘Ring of fire’? Annular Solar Eclipse 2020!!

Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when a portion of the Earth is engulfed in a shadow cast by the Moon which fully or partially blocks sunlight. This occurs when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned. Such alignment coincides with a new moon

How do eclipses happen?

Solar eclipses occur when the Moon comes in between the Sun and the Earth and the shadow of the Moon falls on Earth. For it to happen, a new moon is a necessity however it doesn’t happen every full moon because the orbit of the Moon is not aligned with the plane of revolution of the Earth around the Sun, it is tilted by around 5 degrees due to which the shadow misses the earth most of the time. There can be 2 – 5 eclipses a year.

Types of Eclipses

The shadow of the moon has different regions and depending on the region that the observer is in, the type of eclipse observed changes.

For a total eclipse the Earth must be in the umbra region while for an annular eclipse, it must be in the antumbra region (farther away from the Earth). A partial eclipse occurs when the Earth is in the penumbra region. Hybrid eclipses also exist.

Annular Solar Eclipse

An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s center, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire” or annulus around the Moon.

When is the next annular eclipse?

The eclipse on June 21,2020 will be observable from South/East Europe, Much of Asia, North in Australia, Much of Africa, Pacific, Indian Ocean.
From these regions, specific areas will have annular eclipses while others will have a partial eclipse
Some cities where the annular eclipse will be visible

  • Impfondo, Congo
  • Obo, Central African Republic
  • Lalibela, Ethiopia
  • Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Pano Gil, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Gharana, Rajasthan, India
  • Sirsa, Haryana, India
  • Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
  • Tehri, Uttarakhand, India
  • Xiamen, Fujian, China

Delhi will only be experiencing a partial eclipse i.e. no ring of fire.
The path of Moon’s shadow on Earth

For Delhi, the eclipse starts at 10: 20 and ends at 13:48 with the maximum eclipse occurring at 12:01.
For Dhanbad, Jharkhand (where the annular eclipse can be observed) the eclipse starts at 9:15
And ends at 15:04 with maximum eclipse at 12:10.
* time in 24 hr format, local time (IST)

How to observe the eclipse?

It is necessary to use proper gear to watch the eclipse. It is dangerous to view the eclipse with the unaided eye directly and can lead to permanent damage.
Safe methods of observation include pinhole projectors/cameras, telescopes with filters, a number 14 or greater arc welder’s glass (using other glasses such as smoked glass,stacked glass or tinted glass is unsafe), or solar viewers specifically made for this purpose.

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