Annular solar eclipse in the African continent

01 Sep 2016 | By Ramya
'Ring of fire' solar eclipse

A spectacular annular solar eclipse will occur on 1 Sep'16 viewable from the African continent.

A 'ring of fire' would form during the eclipse due to a lesser distance between the Moon and the Sun.

It will be visible only for ten minutes along a thin strip; it will begin on one end of Africa and conclude on the other, off the Madagascar coast.

In context: 'Ring of fire' solar eclipse

IntroductionWhat is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon gets in between Earth and the Sun, and casts a shadow over Earth.

Solar eclipses only occur during a new moon cycle.

There are four types of solar eclipses - partial, annular, total and hybrid.

Partial and annular eclipses don't cover the moon entirely, and hybrid eclipses occur when an annular eclipse becomes a total eclipse.

Annular Solar EclipseWhat are annular solar eclipses?

Annular solar eclipses occur when the antumbra of the Moon falls on Earth; it occurs when the Moon is at apogee, the highest point.

The Sun's center is covered by the Moon leaving the outer edges of the Sun uncovered.

The Moon and Earth will be more distant from each other making the Moon appear smaller to cover the Sun's face on this occasion.

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The Sun forms a 'ring of fire'

During an annular solar eclipse, no place on Earth would be able to witness a total solar eclipse. However, some areas will see the Sun forming a 'ring of fire' around the Moon's edge. Some places might witness a partial solar eclipse.

01 Sep 2016Annular solar eclipse in the African continent

Where is the astronomical event visible?

The eclipse can be witnessed along a thin strip of African countries - Gabon, Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Madagascar from 9:08 am (local time).
Interested people can watch a live stream of the eclipse

Live StreamInterested people can watch a live stream of the eclipse

The next annular eclipse will occur on 26 February 2017 and would be visible from South America.

In an age where advanced technology could bypass a few of physical limitations, interested people from places other than the mentioned African countries can also witness the event.

They can watch a live stream of the event on Slooh from 2:30 am EST and 12 pm IST.

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What is Slooh?

It is a robotic telescopic service, which can be watched live through web browsers with Flash plug-in. It was the first robotic telescopic service to offer live viewing through the web. Slooh has a patent on the live image processing method.