June 20, 2020

This Is The First Time Since 1982 A Solar Eclipse And The Summer Solstice Happen On The Same Day

According to the Hindustan Times, “This summer solstice, the Earth will be playing host to a rare type of solar eclipse. On June 21, the longest day of the year, we will get to witness a celestial event known as the ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse. This is the first time since 1982 that the annular solar eclipse and the summer solstice fall on the same day. The next time these two events coincide will be on June 21, 2039.”

Photo: On Jan. 4, 2011, the Hinode satellite captured these breathtaking images of an annular solar eclipse. (Image: © NASA/Hinode/XRT)

The report from the Hindustan Times goes on to say, “The annular solar eclipse is a celestial event during which the Sun, Moon and Earth align in that order, effectively blocking the Sun’s rays from reaching the Earth’s surface. Currently the Moon is at its furthest point in its orbit around the Earth, also known as an apogee. Because the Moon is so far from the Earth, it is unable to completely obscure the Sun from view.

This leaves an outline of the sun around the dark side of the moon, giving it the ‘Ring of Fire’ effect. At the peak of the eclipse, the Moon will be able to block 99% of the Sun from view, this however, lasts for only a few seconds.”

Where To See It

CNN reports on when and where the solar eclipse and summer solstice event will be visible, “The annular eclipse will begin at 12:47 a.m. ET (4:47 UTC) on June 21 and cross a skinny path that starts at sunrise in Africa and eventually moves across to China before ending at sunset over the Pacific Ocean. It will peak at 2:40 a.m. ET (6:40 UTC) and end around 4:32 a.m. ET (8:32 UTC). The partial eclipse will begin at 11:45 p.m. ET (3:45 UTC) on June 20 and end at 5:34 a.m. ET (9:34 UTC) on June 21.”

For those of us in America, we will not able to see this event directly, although we can livestream the event from somewhere else in the world.

The report from CNN continues, “It will be visible over central Africa, the southern Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, Northern India and South Central China, Young said. A partial eclipse will be seen over most of Asia, Africa, South and East Europe, northern Australia and parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, he added. And of course, this is weather permitting, so hopefully the skies will be clear. The entire eclipse will last about 3.75 hours, but the duration as it passes over individual locations will equal to around a minute and a half. During the peak, that will actually shorten to just over 30 seconds.”