Thursday, December 26 will see a spectacular “Ring of Fire” arrive in the sky for a few in certain countries when an annular eclipse occurs. An annular solar eclipse is different from a total solar eclipse as the Moon does not totally obscure the Sun. The celestial orb is farther away from the planet than normal, making it appear smaller. The sun is consequently not totally eclipsed, leaving a “ring of fire” around the star’s edge.
Will the “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse be visible from the UK?
Remember to never look directly at the Sun even during an eclipse
According to timeanddate.com, the first part of the partial eclipse will start at 2:29am UTC on Boxing Day, with the last part occurring at 8:05am UTC.
While this occurs in the middle of the night for Britain and Europe, in Asia and Australia the annular solar eclipse will turn daytime into darkness.
The solar eclipse will not be visible in the UK, with those living in eastern Europe, Asia, northwest Australia, eastern Africa and the Pacific and the Indian Ocean treated to the incredible phenomenon.
Those lucky enough to live in these areas will need to be quick if they want to see the “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse, as it will only last for a maximum of three minutes and 40 seconds.
Eclipse: The Sun will not be totally eclipsed this week, leaving a “ring of fire” around the edge
Eclipse 2019: The December 26 solar eclipse will not be visible in the UK
How to watch the solar eclipse:
Timeanddate.com will be live streaming the eclipse event on its YouTube channel, as will US-based space agency NASA.
NASA said: “At the peak of this eclipse, the middle of the Sun will appear to be missing and the dark Moon will appear to be surrounded by the bright Sun.
“Remember to never look directly at the Sun even during an eclipse.
“An annular eclipse occurs instead of a total eclipse when the Moon is on the far part of its elliptical orbit around the Earth.”
Sky at Night Magazine repeated NASA’s warning: “It’s the most beautiful type of partial solar eclipse, but it’s also the most dangerous.
“All observers will need to wear solar eclipse glasses at all times, and attempts to photograph it will require special solar filters.”
The next annular solar eclipse comes on June 21 next year, falling on the summer solstice.
Those in Africa and Asia will be able to see the next one.
Eclipse 2019: Timeanddate.com will be live streaming the eclipse event on its YouTube channel
Eclipse 2019: Never look directly at the Sun even during an eclipse
When will the next lunar and solar eclipses appear?
London’s Royal Observatory Greenwich said: “There are between two and five solar eclipses each year with a total eclipse taking place every 18 months or so.
“Total solar eclipses are seen every 400 years from any one place on the surface of the Earth.”
January 10–11, 2020: Penumbral lunar eclipse (when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are in imperfect alignment).
June 5–6, 2020: Penumbral lunar eclipse.
June 21, 2020: Annular solar eclipse.
July 4–5, 2020: Penumbral lunar eclipse.
November 29–30, 2020: Penumbral lunar eclipse.
December 14, 2020: Total solar eclipse.