2023: Solar Eclipse to occur within this week, checkout the day
This year’s Solar Eclipse will fall on Thursday, April 20, 2023.
Here is everything you need to know about the total solar eclipse set to happen on April 20, including where it will be visible, when it will happen and how you can view it.
black and white image of total solar eclipse
Image of a total solar eclipse take in 2017. (Image credit: NASA)
The “Ningaloo” hybrid solar eclipse on April 20 will bring both a total eclipse, making the sky go completely dark for moments, and an annular eclipse, when the Moon will partially cover the Sun, creating a “ring of fire” effect.
Unfortunately, no parts of the solar eclipse, total or annular, will be visible to viewers in India. The eclipse will be best viewed from the western coast of Australia. The word “Ningaloo” comes from the Ningaloo coast of Australia. If you are not present in western Australia at the time of the eclipse, you can still view it through the live stream below.
The April 20 eclipse is a “hybrid” eclipse because, in some parts of the world, it will go from an annular eclipse to a total eclipse before going back to an annular eclipse again.
With an annular eclipse, the Moon does not completely cover the Sun. Instead, it will appear as a smaller dark disc “on top” of the Sun. This is what creates the “ring of fire” effect.
Where and when will the solar eclipse be visible?
A total solar eclipse will only be visible in one town–Exmouth on the western coast of Australia, according to the Government of Western Australia.
But a partial eclipse will be visible in Southeast Asia, the East Indies, the Philippines, New Zealand other parts of Australia, according to former NASA astrophysicist and eclipse expert Fred Espenak. Viewers in Timor-Leste and parts of Indonesia will be able to catch a glimpse of an annular eclipse.
What is the difference between a total and annular eclipse? What will you see during a hybrid eclipse?
A solar eclipse happens when the Moon gets in between the Sun and the Earth, blocking out the Sun partially or completely. When the Sun is blocked out completely, it is called a total eclipse. During the totality of the Ningaloo eclipse, the sky will go completely dark as if it were early morning or late in the evening.
The total solar eclipse will only be visible to viewers in the shadow of the Moon. In this case, that will be certain parts of western Australia. If the weather conditions are right, these viewers might even be able to see the Sun’s corona (outer atmosphere), which is usually obscured by the star’s bright face.
Just like during a total eclipse, the Moon will pass between the Sun and the Earth during an annular eclipse. But it will be too far from the Earth for totality. Due to this, the Moon will appear as a dark disc superimposed on the bright disc of the Sun, creating the “ring of fire” effect.
Due to our planet’s curved surface, sometimes, rarely, an eclipse can shift between annular and total as the Moon’s shadow moves across the Earth’s surface. This is what is known as a hybrid eclipse. During the Ningaloo eclipse, viewers might be able to see it going from annular to total and then back to annular.
AN annular solar eclipse
How an annular solar eclipse will look. (Image credit: NASA)
Will the solar eclipse be followed by a lunar eclipse?
Eclipses usually come in pairs, and this is true for the April 20 solar eclipse as well. It will be followed by a lunar eclipse on May 5. But the lunar eclipse will be penumbral, which means that the Sun, Earth and Moon will be imperfectly aligned.
A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth throws its shadow on the Moon when it comes in between the natural satellite and the Sun. During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the Moon will only move through the faint outer part of the Earth’s shadow.
Because of this, the lunar eclipse on May 5 may be a little hard to differentiate from the normal phase of the Moon. But there is a chance that the Moon will appear slightly reddish during the eclipse. This is because the only light reaching the Moon will be that which travels through the Earth’s atmosphere, which scatters the bluer wavelengths of light.