A Chinese man wears a protective mask to prevent COVID-19 and protective glasses as he watches the ... [+] sun during the annular solar eclipse outside the Forbidden City on June 20, 2020 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Early on Sunday morning as much as 99.4% of the Sun was covered by the Moon for less than a minute as seen from parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Although few international eclipse-chasers could travel to witness the event, and many living near the 27 miles-wide path of the Moons shadow were also thwarted by COVID-19 travel restrictions, amateur astronomers were out in force for this rare annular solar eclipse.
The path of today's eclipse began in Africa and crossed into the Arabian Peninsula.
This special kind of partial solar eclipse was visible for just under six hours between 03:45 UTC and 09:34 UTC, from the Republic of Congo in Central Africa to Guam in the Pacific Ocean. From everywhere along the track solar eclipse glasses had to be worn.
Ethiopia was where some of the first images came from; heres an image from the iconicLalibelain Ethiopia, which is famous for its rock-hewn monolithicchurches:
Heres a great video from Ethiopia (scan to 23 minutes for the ring of fire):
Next was Yemen. Not much was seen online during the eclipse, but soon after this beautiful photo appeared on Twitter:
Next up was Oman. Heres a video (scan to 1 hour 43 minutes for the ring of fire):
While a massive swathe of the eastern hemisphere saw a partial solar eclipse, that delicate ring around the Moon was visible for between 38 and 82 seconds only from a narrow path through the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, India, Tibet, China and Taiwan.
Heres that perfect circle moment from Quriyat, Oman:
Minutes later, it was Pakistans turn. In Sukkur, Pakistan, research astronomer Talha Moon Zia took this spectacular image (below) thatin my opinionis the definitive image of the entire eclipse; a ring of fire that shows the Suns pinkish chromosphere an even a few pink prominencesexplosions on the surface of the Sun (look on the lower-left where the ring is at its thinnest):
Heres what was going minutes later in Ahmedabad, India, which experienced a maximum 77% partial solar eclipse:
Meanwhile, a ring of fire was visible in northern Rajasthan, India, back along that narrow full eclipse path:
Can you see those broken rings on the images above? Those are Bailys beads. These beads of light are the Suns light coming through the mountains of the Moon. They were only visible for a few seconds before and after the ring of fire.
The path of today's annular solar eclipse.
From Dehradun, India the spectacle of Bailys beads was again briefly visible:
To the south, New Delhi, India saw a 93% partial solar eclipse:
The moon moves in front of the sun during an annular solar eclipse as seen from New Delhi on June ... [+] 21, 2020. (Photo by Jewel Samad / AFP) (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
The word annular comes from annulus, a Latin word for little ring. An annular solar eclipse is caused when a New Moon is further away from Earth on its slightly elliptical orbit, so not big enough in our sky to cover the whole of the Sun.
After leaving India across the Himalayas, the ring of fire then crossed Tibet and China, with the last views of the ringfor about a minutein Xiamen, China and southern Taiwan.
Heres a photo from Tibet:
The annular solar eclipse is seen on June 21, 2020 in Ali Prefecture, Tibet Autonomous Region of ... [+] China. (Photo by Jia Jiqian/VCG via Getty Images)
Macau then saw an 84% partial solar eclipse. Heres a great amateur video of it, which demonstrates just how useful cloud can sometimes be for eclipse-viewing:
Dont confuse an annular solar eclipse with a total solar eclipse, which occurs when a New Moon covers 100% or more of the Sun.The next total solar eclipse will happen next on December 14, 2020 as seen from a narrow path of totality through Chile and Argentina.
People gather to watch the partial solar eclipse along a promenade on June 21, 2020 in Hong Kong, ... [+] China. (Photo by Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images)
The next annular solar eclipse will occur on June 10, 2021 and be visible from Canada, Greenland and Russia. It will be the first of three solar eclipses of some kind in North America inside just four years.
Solar eclipses are predicted using an ephemeris that accurately plots where the Sun and Moon are, with respect to Earth, where the Moons shadow is in space, and when its going to strike Earths surface. Spherical trigonometry has been used to plot how the Moon-shadow moves across the surface in 3D.
Science aside, you owe yourself a trip to see a solar eclipsebut make sure its a total solar eclipse you travel to. Annular solar eclipses make great photosas demonstrated herebut theyre not a patch on the experience of totality.
Disclaimer: I am editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.
- Space Travel Updates: When Will We Be Able To Travel To Space? - Forbes - July 16th, 2021
- Richard Branson just flew to the edge of space. Heres what it means for space travel. - MIT Technology Review - July 16th, 2021
- Teenager to fly with Bezos in inaugural space tourism flight - Reuters - July 16th, 2021
- A 'new breed' of astronaut: Meet the citizen space traveler who'll be on Virgin Galactic's next flight - USA TODAY - July 16th, 2021
- Rocket men: Unregulated space travel posing a threat to the fragile environment of the blue planet - capitalcurrent.ca - July 16th, 2021
- Space Travel Calculator | Relativistic Rocket Equation - July 10th, 2021
- Fun Space Travel Facts for Kids - July 10th, 2021
- The History of Space Travel Timeline | The Fact Site - July 10th, 2021
- As space billionaires take flight, 'the right stuff' for space travel enters a new era - Space.com - July 10th, 2021
- Wally Funk, A Lifelong Aspiring Astronaut, Will Finally Head To Space At 82 - NPR - July 10th, 2021
- Are we ready for space tourism? - POLITICO - Politico - July 10th, 2021
- Local Travel Agent: Space Tourism is the Future - RochesterFirst - July 10th, 2021
- Op-ed | America's permanent and resilient presence in space will be nuclear powered - SpaceNews - July 10th, 2021
- The space race investing gold rush comes to Britain - iNews - July 10th, 2021
- Tech 24 - Heading to space on vacation? - FRANCE 24 - June 28th, 2021
- The UK's first space tourism travel agency has opened - and it's a world first - Euronews - June 28th, 2021
- The world's first luxury spaceflight experience from pioneering Space Perspective reimagines the thrill of space exploration - PRNewswire - June 28th, 2021
- China plans its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033 - Reuters - June 28th, 2021
- When Will Regular People Be Able to Visit the Moon? - Gizmodo - June 28th, 2021
- How Sun Ra Taught Us to Believe in the Impossible - The New Yorker - June 28th, 2021
- Chirps in space: new album captures the sound of black holes colliding - The Guardian - June 28th, 2021
- Strawberry Moon: We asked stargazers their thoughts on outer space and traveling to the Great Beyond - PAHomePage.com - June 28th, 2021
- Could the 'F9' Family Really Take a Car to Space? - Thrillist - June 28th, 2021
- Company offers space flights on the "balloon": the spacecraft has WiFi and drink menu | Technology - The Press Stories - June 28th, 2021
- Michael Baker International and Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority Partner with Space Perspective for First Space Launch to Fly from Space Coast Air... - June 28th, 2021
- Tens Of Thousands Sign Petition To Stop Jeff Bezos From Returning To Earth - NPR - June 23rd, 2021
- A Texas-size space summer has billionaires racing for the heavens - San Antonio Express-News - June 23rd, 2021
- GANNETT Launches ItsInauguralNon-Fungible Token Inspired by the First NewspaperOnthe Moon - USA TODAY - June 23rd, 2021
- Gannett Launches Its First Non-Fungible Token - Business Wire - June 23rd, 2021
- From Richard Branson to Jeff Bezos, space tourism takes flight - Livemint - June 23rd, 2021
- Jefferson research looks to outer space to learn about human health on Earth - The Philadelphia Inquirer - June 23rd, 2021
- Watch the Virgin Galactic Spaceship Soar at the Edge of Space - Robb Report - May 24th, 2021
- Travelling Through a Wormhole in Space May Be Possible, New Research Suggests - Gadgets 360 - May 24th, 2021
- As Interest In Space Tourism Booms, New Research Shows What May Happen To The Body In Space - Forbes - May 24th, 2021
- Space exploration China lands a rover on Mars - The Economist - May 24th, 2021
- A Serene Shore Resort, Except for the SpaceX Ball of Fire - The New York Times - May 24th, 2021
- ETF Battles: Want to Invest in Space Travel and Exploration? Try these 3 ETFs - TheStreet - May 24th, 2021
- Stronger together: Moving from space exploration to nuclear utilities - Modern Diplomacy - May 24th, 2021
- The ARKX ETF: Investing in the Final Frontier - ETF Trends - May 24th, 2021
- Heres how NASA will search for water on the Moon - Yahoo Entertainment - May 24th, 2021
- What We Know About Chinas Mars Rover Zhurong Landing - The New York Times - May 24th, 2021
- China says Martian rover takes first drive on surface of Red Planet - Reuters - May 24th, 2021
- An aspiring Irish astronaut is currently on a simulated moon mission - Siliconrepublic.com - May 24th, 2021
- To the moon...literally: Should you buy into the future of space travel? - Global Banking And Finance Review - May 24th, 2021
- SpaceX's dearMoon mission has pitted two brothers against each other. One of the siblings said he was shocked - Business Insider India - May 24th, 2021
- Virgin Galactic Shares Rocket Higher: What Investors Should Know - Benzinga - May 24th, 2021
- Warp Drives and Negative Energy: Physicists Give Chances of Faster-Than-Light Space Travel a Boost - SciTechDaily - May 18th, 2021
- LSU student from Zachary provide work that will make NASA mission to moon in 2022 - The Advocate - May 18th, 2021
- Connecting the Dots of History: Recognizing an Oklahoman's contribution to the U.S. space program - Oklahoman.com - May 18th, 2021
- The $10 billion Space telescope that will help us travel back in time - Euronews - May 18th, 2021
- Helen Sharman: Thirty years since first Briton went to space - BBC News - May 18th, 2021
- A Florida Kayak Excursion That's Like Paddling through the Milky Way - Red Tr... - Red Tricycle - May 18th, 2021
- SpaceX Files Paperwork for First Spaceship Orbital Flight: Texas to Hawaii - Weatherboy - May 18th, 2021
- Malachy Clerkin: Sport is all about fun - like hitting a golf ball on the moon - The Irish Times - May 18th, 2021
- If Earth falls, will interstellar space travel be our salvation? - Yahoo News - May 16th, 2021
- Not just Earth, humans are polluting space too. Heres how we can stop - ThePrint - May 16th, 2021
- OPINION: SpaceX is making history The Appalachian - The Appalachian Online - May 16th, 2021
- Air and Space Museum in Spotlight as X-wing Exhibition Announced - The Great Courses Daily News - May 16th, 2021
- US Intel Chief: Chinese Space Station is a Threat to National Security - Futurism - May 16th, 2021
- Warp drives: Physicists give chances of faster-than-light space travel a boost - EarthSky - May 11th, 2021
- First American In Space: The Flight of Alan B. Shepard - National Air and Space Museum - May 11th, 2021
- The second Israeli in space: "I'm aware of the risks, but not afraid of the dangers" - Geektime - May 11th, 2021
- Star Wars X-Wing Starfighter Lands at the National Air and Space Museum - Smithsonian Magazine - May 11th, 2021
- Want to become a space tourist? You finally can if you have $250,000 and a will to sign your life away - The Conversation AU - May 11th, 2021
- Space tourism is here 20 years after the first stellar tourist, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin plans to send civilians to space - The Conversation US - May 9th, 2021
- Southwestern to explore the health effects of space travel at the next Physics and Astronomy Lecture - Coos Bay World - May 9th, 2021
- Israeli Mission to Test Tech for Next Generation of Space Travel - Bloomberg - May 9th, 2021
- A bottle of wine aged in space could sell for $1 million how and why it tastes different than Earth-bound wine - CNBC - May 9th, 2021
- Bringing sci-fi concepts to real space exploration | Stanford News - Stanford University News - May 9th, 2021
- #SpaceWatchGL Opinion: Five reasons why astronomy is important to our future in space. - SpaceWatch.Global - May 9th, 2021
- Veteran NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams talks about the future of space travel, Mars, and a Woman on the Moon - CW39 - May 9th, 2021
- Smithsonian Will Display Star Wars X-Wing Fighter - The New York Times - May 9th, 2021
- NASAs Defunct Space Runway Will Be Used By a New Spaceplane in 2022 - Observer - May 9th, 2021
- 60 years ago, Alan Shepard became the first American in space | US Embassy & Consulates in Italy - US Embassy Rome - May 9th, 2021
- 44 Israeli Research Projects Headed For Space On Rakia Mission - NoCamels - Israeli Innovation News - May 9th, 2021
- Elon Musk is right about the inevitable risks and rewards of space travel - The Independent - May 9th, 2021
- Breaking News - discovery+ Documents Backyard Engineers Pursuing Their Dreams of Space Flight in All-New Limited Series "Homemade... - May 1st, 2021
- The Food Tech Show: The Future of Space Food - The Spoon - May 1st, 2021
- Light This Candle: What You Need to Know About Alan Shepard's Historic Spaceflight - National Air and Space Museum - May 1st, 2021
- Virgin Galactic Reschedules First Quarter 2021 Financial Results and Conference Call In Response to Recent SEC Guidance Relating to Warrants Issued by... - May 1st, 2021