‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse to occur on Sunday, June 21

The first of two 2020 solar eclipses, will turn the sun into a glowing “ring of fire” on June 21 (or June 20 depending on your location). The full annular eclipse will be visible from parts of Africa and Asia. “A narrow stripe from Africa to the Pacific Ocean will see the Moon in front of the Sun (blocking 99.4% of the Sun at its peak in northern India) such that only a bright ring is visible,” NASA said in a skywatching update for June. 

An annular solar eclipse happens when the moon is too far away from us to completely hide the sun, leaving a circle of brightness around the moon. That is how it gets the poetic “ring of fire” nickname.

The June 21 annular solar eclipse will be visible from parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and of course, India. Additionally, there are three more eclipse that will occur in 2020 including two lunar eclipses and one more solar eclipse. For those of us in Ghana, particularly Accra, who will be seeing a partial eclipse, these are the details.

Begins: Sun, 21 Jun 2020, 05:49

Maximum: Sun, 21 Jun 2020, 05:49 0.03 Magnitude

Ends: Sun, 21 Jun 2020, 05:51

Duration: 2 minutes

This time and Date link lets you dial in details for your area, and tells you whether you’re in line for the full eclipse, a partial eclipse or no eclipse at all. A NASA website also shows the eclipse path on an interactive map and lets you zoom in to find a viewing location. 

Even if you’re not in the right geographic spot to catch the eclipse in person, you may still be able to livestream it at Virtual Telescope Project, which livestreams notable celestial events. The annular solar eclipse will be visible without any equipment, but it is recommended to use some kind of eye protection.

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Semih Durmuş