The Best Annular Eclipse of the Decade Is Happening Tonight
A rare type of solar eclipse is happening tonight and it's hoped to be the best of the decade.
An annular solar eclipse takes place when the moon is too far away in it's orbit of the Earth to totally block out the sun, which is why a thin line appears around the edges of the darkened moon.
Astronomers started referring to it as the 'ring of fire', but you have to be quick because it only takes several minutes for the moon to pass in front of the sun with the total eclipse lasting less than a second.
Earlier this week, NASA shared a video of what it's expected to look like which is handy for anyone that will miss it.
The US space agency has shared a clip that shows what stargazers might be able to see, if they're lucky enough.
The video was shot back in 2013 during the annular solar eclipse that year in Western Australia.
Rare #Solstice #AnnularSolarEclipse on Sun, Jun 21, 2020! This #RingOfFire eclipse is visible from parts of Africa, Middle East, South Asia, & China. Not in the path of the #eclipse? We have an eclipse #livestream on Jun 21 at 05:00 UTC. #SolsticeEclipsehttps://t.co/Zq0J9e0O5W
- timeanddate.com (@timeanddate) June 14, 2020
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NASA explained: "In the early morning of 2013 May 10, from Western Australia, the Moon was between the Earth and the rising Sun.
"At times, it would be hard for the uninformed to understand what was happening. In an annular eclipse, the Moon is too far from the Earth to block the entire Sun, and at most leaves a ring of fire where sunlight pours out around every edge of the Moon."
The path will take the eclipse from Central Africa, over places like Saudi Arabia, Northern India, and Southern China, then out into the world's largest ocean.
A partial eclipse will be possible in places like the Middle East, Southern Asia, and Eastern Africa.
Unfortunately for those of us in the UK, we won't be able to feast our eyes on it - so we'll have to make do with watching it online I'm afraid.
NASA confirmed: "This weekend, a new annular solar eclipse will occur, visible from central Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and a narrow band across Asia, with much of Earth's Eastern hemisphere being able to see a partial solar eclipse."
You can join in with the UK, Time and Date live stream of the event here.
Featured Image Credit: PA