An annular solar eclipse happen as rarely as it is wonderful. As the moon crosses in front of the sun, the sky turns dark, the sun’s edges look like a ring of fire, the stars come out to twinkle, and millions of people are treated to an astronomical show.
Although it is hard to properly see the eclipse which happens for a brief period of time, there are specific locations from where the magnificent view can be enjoyed.
What Is Annular Solar Eclipse 2020?
When the moon partially crosses the sun, it is called an annular solar eclipse but when it covers the sun completely then it is a total solar eclipse. During annular eclipse or partial eclipse, the sun, the moon, and the earth are not necessarily aligned in a straight line. According to NASA, the moon is quite farther away from the earth during a partial eclipse which is why it casts a relatively smaller shadow on earth. While in total eclipse, all three planets are perfectly aligned.
Previously, an annular eclipse happened on 26th December 2019 which was largely visible from Asia and Australia. The Great South American Eclipse on 2nd July 2019 was the last total eclipse that was exclusively seen over South America. NASA provides the complete map of what path the coming eclipse will take.
First Solar Eclipse of 2020
The first annular solar eclipse of 2020 will happen on 21st June which will be viewed by skywatchers across Africa, Asia, Southeast Europe, and the Pacific. It will be a partial eclipse in which the moon will block some portion of the sun. However, those who are located in the centreline of Central Africa and Taiwan will enjoy the best views. They will be able to see a ring of fire which illuminates only the edges of the sun as everything else in the sky appears dark.
Reportedly, the eclipse will begin in the Northeastern Republic of the Congo at 5:47 A.M. (local time) moments after sunrise. Then it will reach South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea before crossing the Red Sea towards Arabian Peninsula. After that Pakistan, Northern India, and Southern China will be able to view the eclipse before it ends in Taiwan.
Second Eclipse of 2020
The second and final eclipse of 2020 will be a total solar eclipse. It will be casted over South America on 14th December. It can be visible from Chile and Argentina.
A partial eclipse will still be visible from most of South America and some African countries as well, including Botswana, Angola, Namibia, and South Africa. According to NASA, the eclipse path will take around 97 minutes to cross the South American continent. However, the totality of the eclipse can be viewed only from a 90km wide land between Pacific Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean. This piece of land crosses Argentine and touches the west coast of Chile. The partial phase of the eclipse will begin at 8:33AM (local time) and reach the coast of Chile at approximately 11:00AM.
It will turn into a total eclipse at 1:22 PM (local time) for about 2 minutes and 10 seconds. The best place to watch is in the Rio Negro province of Argentina. Thousands will be gathered near the village named La Loberia to witness this phenomena.