'Ring of fire' solar eclipse thrills skywatchers

Five things to know about the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse on Sunday

Watch out for partial eclipse of sun for 3 hours today

Viewers along a narrow band from west Africa to the Arabian peninsula, India and southern China will witness the most dramatic "ring of fire" eclipse in years.

"Ring of fire" or annular solar eclipses occur when the moon, which is passing between the earth and the sun, is not close enough to the earth to completely obstruct sunlight.

Across the world, the eclipse in various phases had occurred between 9:36am to 3:34pm on Sunday.

Itbayat town in Batanes and Tuguegarao in Cagayan province will have the best view of the eclipse, with the moon obscuring the sun at 91 percent visibility, the weather bureau added. It was an unusual and rare eclipse, which is called "annular". The maximum eclipse, when the "ring of fire" can be seen, will be visible at 12:08 pm.

It will be the first solar eclipse of this year taking place on the summer solstice, which is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere. This time people preferred to come out and experienced the excitement of watching the solar eclipse live, although by following social distancing and precautionary measures.

An annular solar eclipse, wherein the Sun appears like a ring of fire, is now underway but cloudy skies are likely to play a spoilsport for sky gazers in Kerala and also in the national capital.

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This will be the last eclipse to be seen from India for the next 28 months as the next eclipse will be seen in India on October 25, 2022. The moon is in front of the sun and looks like a dark disk on top of an even larger disk which appears like a ring of fire.

Looking directly at the Sun may cause permanent damage to one's retinas, hence, it is advisable to follow a set of precautions to watch the eclipse.

This will be the last eclipse that will be visible from India for the next 28 months.

This eclipse will be visible across Africa, parts of Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

The next annular eclipse will be seen from South America in December 2020.

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