The first solar eclipse (known as surya grahan in Hindi) of 2020 will be gracing the skies on June 21. Instead of a more majestic total eclipse, it is an annular solar eclipse that will appear as a “ring of fire” in the sky. This phenomenon will be visible from India as well as from other parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia. The partial solar eclipse will begin at 9:15am IST, and it’ll attain its maximum form of an annular eclipse at 12:10pm IST. Read on for more information on this year’s first annular solar eclipse, where you can watch it, and more.
What is an annular solar eclipse?
To put it simply, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between the Earth and the Sun. During an annular solar eclipse, the Moon is farthest from Earth, with its apparent diameter at that distance not enough to completely block the Sun. Instead, it blocks much of Sun and places its antumbra shadow on the Earth, leaving a circle of brightness. During this phase of the solar eclipse, an annular shape (ring-shape) is formed around the Moon, hence people on Earth can see a “ring of fire” being formed in the sky.
This is unlike the total solar eclipse in which the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth and shows the darkest part of its shadow (umbra) on our planet. The total eclipse is often almost as dark as night, while you’ll notice some amount of light in the case of the annular solar eclipse.
When will the annular solar eclipse occur?
According to TimeandDate.com, the annular phase of the upcoming solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Africa including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia; south of Pakistan and northern India, as well as China.
The annular solar eclipse on June 21 will start off as a partial eclipse at 9:15am IST and will attain its maximum form at 12:10p IST. By 3:04pm, the annular solar eclipse will end.
How to watch June solar eclipse live
If you’re residing in one of the locations where the annular solar eclipse will be visible on June 21, you can go out to experience the ring of fire effect with your own eyes. It is important to take eye protection into consideration while watching the eclipse live.
Space enthusiasts can also watch the event live online. Popular channels such as TimeandDate and Slooh will be streaming it live on their YouTube. You can also follow the path of the eclipse using the NASA tracker.