A Ring of sunlight will glare above parts of Africa on Thursday this week as the moon floats between the sun and Earth. The solar spectacle is called an annular eclipse, and sometimes referred to as a ‘Ring of sunlight’ Eclipse.
‘Ring of sunlight’ Eclipse is an annular eclipse which occurs due to an impression of moon on the sun, C. Alex Young
Unlike its better-known relative the total solar eclipse, an annular eclipse occurs when the moon does not completely blot out the sun. Ring of sunlight is going to appear because of the reason every eclipse isn’t a total solar eclipse has to do with the moon’s elliptical orbit. At some points along its journey it is closer to Earth and at some points it is farther away.
For viewers on the ground, instead of witnessing a white halo they will see red slivers of sunlight shining around the moon’s dark outline more rightly a ring of sunlight.
“If they look up with protective eye wear they are going to see this strange ring of sunlight in the sky, more fabulously they will see these circular shadows,” said C. Alex Young, a solar astrophysicist from NASA.
“It’s a cool event, the shadows are kind of eerie.” He added.
“It’s that sweet spot when it’s just right in between the two that you get the total eclipse,” said Dr. Young. “This is not exactly the sweet spot, it’s a little too far away.”
An annular eclipse happens about once every 18 months. Thursday’s event will be visible from Gabon, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique and Madagascar.
The peak will begin around 9 or 10 a.m. local time, depending on location, and the ‘Ring of sunlight’ Eclipse will last for about three minutes above parts of Africa. Nearby countries outside of the 100-mile wide path will still see partial eclipses.
Dr. Young said that although 95 percent of the sun will be blocked out, anyone who is in a position to watch the event should get some special solar eclipse glasses so they do not harm their eyes.