This solar eclipse will be an annular one, in which the moon will not cover the entire sun, prompting a ‘ring of fire’ in the sky at the peak of the eclipse.

Five things to know about the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse on Sunday File image/PTI
news Astronomy Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 13:33

Avid sky gazers in Africa, the middle east, Asia and the Pacific are gearing up for the first solar eclipse of 2020, which will take place on June 21, Sunday. 

Solar eclipse is an astronomical event in which the moon, during its revolution, comes between the earth and the sun, thus blocking the view of the sun for those on the Earth. The shadow of the moon falls on the earth during a solar eclipse based on the type of the eclipse -- partial or total.

According to reports, here are a few important pointers about Sunday's eclipse. 

  1. This is not a total solar eclipse since the moon will be able to cover only 70% of the Sun. In a total eclipse, the moon seems to block out the Sun entirely. In an annular eclipse, the moon covers the Sun only partially, thus the outer edges of the Sun will remain visible to the stargazers when the eclipse is at the peak. A ring of fire will be visible in the sky due to this eclipse meaning the bright edges of the sun will be visible at the peak of the eclipse. 
  2. The annular phase will be visible only in few places of northern India, a press release from Planetary Society, India said on Friday. "In India depending on the location of a person from the central path, the eclipse, mostly in the partial phase, will be visible between 9.56 am to 2.29 pm," it said.
  3. The peak of the eclipse -- ring of fire -- will be visible for around 35 seconds from Uttarakhand. Those living in the southern parts of India will only see the moon partially covering the sun. The ‘ring of fire’ phenomenon will not be visible in south India.  
  4. This will be the last eclipse that will be visible from India for the next 28 months. The next eclipse which can be seen from India will be in October 2022. 
  5. This eclipse will be visible across Africa, parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean. According to CNN, the eclipse can be seen from central Africa, the southern Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, Northern India and South Central China. A partial eclipse can be seen over most of Asia, Africa, South and East Europe, northern Australia, and parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Across the world the eclipse in various phases will occur between 9.16 AM IST-3.04 PM IST.

Though the central path of the eclipse will begin its journey in Congo (Africa), in India, it will traverse from Suratgarh (Rajasthan), Sirsa and Kurukshetra (Haryana), Dehradun, Chamoli and Joshimath in Uttarakhand. And after its stint in India the eclipse will be visible in China, Taiwan and in the end, in Pacific Ocean.

(With PTI inputs)