Sky-watchers in parts of the world will have an opportunity this coming weekend to see a spectacular solar eclipse "ring of fire." This will be the best solar eclipse of the decade, according to Travel & Leisure.
The eclipse will occur just one day after the summer solstice on Sunday, June 21. The longest day of the year is a summer solstice when the Earth's tilt towards the Sun is at its highest.
TimeAndDate.com wrote the eclipse will take a narrow path throughout Africa, Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, China, and Taiwan if weather permits. Sky-gazers can see a fiery ring around the Sun for up to a minute in viewing areas. A partial eclipse will be visible in the south and east Europe and north Australia.
What about the Americas? Sadly, those in the Americas will not be able to see this eclipse. A "ring of fire" eclipse from northern Ontario and northern Quebec will be apparent on June 10, 2021. The eclipse will also be visible from northeastern Russia, Greenland, and the North Pole.
How annular solar eclipse occurs
This sort of solar eclipse happens when a new moon is at its most distant point from Earth (called its apogee), forming a straight line between the Moon and the Sun - an occurrence that happens once a year.
When the Moon is at its apogee, it covers the Sun in half. However, because the Sun's outer rim remains visible, the sunlight that appears around the Moon produces a spectacular fire-effect ring. Forbes says the new Moon this weekend will block up to 99.4 percent of the Sun, almost forming a total solar eclipse.
Every time the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon form a straight line, the public witness either a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse depending on the three bodies' position relative to each other. As the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, it casts a shadow on the Earth, blocking Sun's rays from hitting the planet directly.
There are three types of solar eclipses - total, partial, and annular - based on the alignment and the relative distance between the three celestial bodies. The June 21 event will be an annular solar eclipse, as already mentioned.
How to see the solar eclipse
Lovers of the sky, enthusiasts, and people of general interest will seek to observe this spectacular celestial occurrence with caution. One shouldn't see an eclipse with naked eyes.
To directly observe the eclipse, one must bring proper eye protection such as eclipse glasses. Skygazers can also use a pinhole projector to project the image of the Sun and the eclipse to see it, without fear of damaging your eyes. They can also use a solar filter to observe it on a telescope.
Need to watch the solar eclipse fire ring from home this weekend? Tune in to this live stream. You 're not going to want to skip it, as the next annular solar eclipse is June 2021.