The world will witness a rare annular solar eclipse on Thursday. During the eclipse, the Sun will appear as a 'Ring of Fire' for a brief period. The solar eclipse will be seen in parts of the world including India, offering a visual treat for sky gazers. Here are 7 interesting facts about Solar Eclipse on December 26.
SOLAR ECLIPSE 2019, THE RING OF FIRE: INTERESTING FACTS
- It is not often that we see an annular solar eclipse or the Ring of fire. During the solar eclipse on December 26, the Sun, Moon and Earth will align in a straight line. The difference this time around is that the apparent size of the moon will be smaller than the apparent size of the sun. This would cause only the central part of the Sun to be hidden from view. The circular edge of the Sun would then appear like a shining bangle or the Ring of fire.
- The Earth will be close to the point on its orbit nearest to the Sun, and the Sun's apparent size will be about 1,951 arc-seconds. On the other hand, the moon won't be near its point of closest approach, so its apparent magnitude will be about 1,893 arc-seconds.
- According to eclipse expert Fred Espenak's website, the first location to see the annular eclipse is 137 miles (220 kilometers) northeast of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In Riyadh, the solar eclipse will begin at 6.34 am local time (0334 GMT), and the "ring of fire" phase will last 2 minutes and 59 seconds.
- The last place on Earth to see the solar eclipse will be Guam. The island will witness the annular phase last for more than 3 minutes.
- The 'Ring of Fire' will appear over Saudi Arabia, India and Southeast Asia. It will appear as a partial eclipse over other parts of Asia and Australia.
- No planets or stars will be visible during the annular solar eclipse because the moon will not completely cover the sun.
- The solar eclipse on December 26 is special as it is decades' last. It offers a spectacular opportunity for skywatchers to witness the celestial event when the moon briefly appears to take a bite out of the sun.