Parts of the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia will be treated with a rare solar eclipse, the last of this decade, but people around the world can still watch it online without risking eye damage.
The new moon will pass the sun's face and cover 97 percent on December 26, leaving a distinctive "ring of fire" visible along a 118-kilometer-wide line extending from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines.
The ring-shaped or annular eclipse occurs because the moon is currently close to its farthest orbital distance from Earth and will not be large enough to cover the entire face of the sun.
December 26, 2018 starts at 03:43 in the morning. Phenomenon – called the "ring of fire" or "annual solar eclipse" – will appear smaller in the sky, blocking only the center of the sun's disc. Observers will therefore see a ring around the sun for up to 3 minutes. and 40 s pic.twitter.com/F880trMqJF
– Ruzzel🐧 (@Einsburn) December 23, 2019
Sun watchers in the Middle East will be able to see the phenomenon early in the morning. Those in southern India and Sri Lanka should shoot midmorning. In Indonesia, the phenomenon will happen in the early afternoon and in the Philippines towards sunset.
Solar Eclipse is upon us! Regions directly on your way this time: Saudi Arabia, Oman, South India and parts of Indonesia. In most of Asia, parts of northern / eastern Africa and northern / western Australia, people can see a partial eclipse. #Eclipsemaspic.twitter.com/88ePpXLAQ0
– Polaris Astro (@polaris_astro) December 24, 2019
Astronomer Fred Espenak provided a table exactly when the maximum extent of the eclipse will be visible in various Asian cities with local time. The ring of fire will be visible longer – for three and a half minutes – east of Pulau Gin Besar Island in Indonesia.
Anyone interested in observing the eclipse directly should remember to wear goggles or projection devices. For the rest of humanity, several live feeds from the event will be available online, such as this one from the Sri Lankan Institute of Astronomy.
Although this is the last solar eclipse of 2019 and the decade, there will be two coming in 2020. By June, a 99% eclipse of the ring will be visible for about a minute, from central Africa to China. There is also a total eclipse scheduled for December 14, in which the sun will be covered for more than two minutes in southern Argentina and Chile.
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