Asia and Africa will witness a rare ring of fire solar eclipse to shadow the Earth in years here on Sunday (today).
Annular eclipses occur when the Moon — passing between Earth and the Sun — is not quite close enough to our planet to completely obscure sunlight, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible.
They occur every year or two, and can only be seen from a narrow pathway across the planet.
Remarkably, the eclipse on Sunday arrives on the northern hemisphere’s longest day of the year — the summer solstice — when Earth’s north pole is tilted most directly towards the Sun.
The “ring of fire” will first be seen in northeastern Republic of Congo (04:56 GMT) just a few minutes after sunrise.
This is the point of maximum duration, with the blackout lasting 1 minute and 22 seconds.
A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipses are visible from about half of Earth’s surface.
There will be a second solar eclipse in 2020 on December 14 over South America. Because the Moon will be a bit closer to Earth, it will block on the Sun’s light entirely.
It will take less than 100 minutes for the path of this eclipse to move across the continent.
Even if the day has darkened, looking at a solar eclipse with the naked eye is dangerous.