Thursday 24 April 2014

Annular Eclipse to be visible from Australia, Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean, 29 April 2014.

An Annular Eclipse will occur on Tuesday 29 April 2014, starting at about 3.52 am GMT. It will be visible from Australia, much of Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean, eastern Java and the islands of the Bali, Flores and Savu Seas, though a full Annular Eclipse will only be visible from a small area of Antarctica.

Map showing the areas from which the 29 April 2014 Annular Eclipse will be visible. A total Annular Eclipse will only be visible from the dark grey semi-circle on Antarctica. The full extent of the eclipse will be visible as a Partial Eclipse from the dark grey area; in the light grey area it will either begin before dawn or continue after sunset. HM Nautical Almanac Office.

An Annular Eclipse is a type of Solar Eclipse, that is to say an eclipse in which the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, but one which occurs while the moon is close to aphelion (when it is furthest from the Earth). The Moon has a variable orbit, getting considerably closer and further from the Earth at different times, which alters its size as seen from the Earth. Thus when it is at its furthest from the Earth it appears considerably smaller than the Sun so an eclipse occurring at this time will produce a ring of sunlight, rather than a period of darkness. A Partial Annular Eclipse resembles a regular Partial Eclipse, in that the light of the Sun will be partially blocked by the Moon passing in from of it, though the disk of the Moon will be smaller.

An Annular Eclipse on 20 May 2013, photographed from Middlegate, Nevada. Wikipedia.

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