Everything you need to know about this weekend’s dramatic ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse

This “deep” annular solar eclipse has no equal for over a decade.
What type of eclipse is the ‘ring of fire’ eclipse?

It’s an annular solar eclipse, which is when the Moon is slightly smaller in the sky, so it doesn’t completely cover the Sun. From Africa, the Middle East, northern India, and southern China, a bright circle of sunlight will be visible around the Moon for around a minute during a rare 99.4% annular solar eclipse. That’s very close to being a total solar eclipse.

How long will the eclipse last?

For between 38 and 86 seconds. That brevity makes it very rare, with no equal coming up in the near future. In fact, the next time the Moon will create such a slim sliver around the Sun and cause another almost-total “ring of fire” eclipse will be in 2032 when, in fact, the ring will be even slimmer. However, it will be followed by two other relatively “deep” annular solar eclipses in 2032, 2035 and 2039.

When will the eclipse occur?

The annular ‘ring’ phase will begin at precisely 4:48 UTC on June 21, 2020, just a few hours after the instance of the solstice at 21:44 UTC on June 20, 2020.

Credit: Unsplash