Sunday, June 21, 2020, annular solar eclipse will occur over Ethiopia, starting from 6:50 am to 9:19 am local morning time (2 hours 27 minute), specifically 97% and more of the sun will be covered at Mendi, Bombasi, Lalibela, Bahir Dar (Gish Abay), Debre Tabor (Nifasmewcha), Mekelle (Alamata) and Afar. While the rest of the country will experience a partial eclipse
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse is a celestial phenomenon that occurs 2 – 5 per year somewhere on the surface of the Earth. It is caused by the special alignment of the Moon in front of the Earth and covers the portion of the sunlight from reaching a certain area of the Earth. Our sun is 400 times bigger than the diameter of the moon and at the same time 400 times further the distance the Moon is from the Earth, making the Sun and the Moon nearly similar to each other in our sky. In addition, the Moon with its 5 degrees inclination from the Earth’s equator as well as its elliptical orbit makes it difficult for the Earth to experience an eclipse every month, and as such it occurs on an extended time basis, especially the chance of it taking place near a populated area.
Types of eclipse
There are 4 types of solar eclipses
- Total solar eclipse – an eclipse type whereby the Moon is at a distance where it can fully cover the sun for some part of the Earth. From 2 – 7 minute day time changes to night, temperature decreases and it is safe to see the eclipse without a filter glass for the totality (100% coverage of the sun)
- Annular solar eclipse – an eclipse type whereby the Moon is further away in its orbit from the Earth because of its elliptical orbit. As a result, it fails to cover the Sun fully leaving a fiery ring around the sun. 99% of the sun could be covered, it is not safe to observe the eclipse with the naked eye
- Partial solar eclipse – an eclipse type that occurs when the Moon covers a portion of the sun or during a total and an annular eclipse when the observer is located further from the areas on Earth that are outside the Moon’s inner shadows
Hybrid eclipse – A hybrid eclipse is a type of solar eclipse that looks like an annular solar eclipse or a total solar eclipse, depending on the observer’s location along the central eclipse path.
Location and time
1:55:13 – 1:56:13
1:55:20 – 1:56:27
1:57:20 – 1:58:21
1:57:29 – 1:58:34
1:59:00 – 2:00:04
1:59:38 – 2:00:42
2:00:27 – 2:01:24
Safety and Cautions
An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is further away in its orbit from the Earth because of its elliptical orbit. As a result, it fails to cover the Sun fully leaving a fiery ring around the sun, 99% of the sun could be covered. The type eclipse we are experiencing only covers the sun 97% therefore no way in any circumstance should anyone observe the sun without a standard solar eclipse glass. Observing the sun without a protective solar glass will result in permanent damage to the eye.
It is also dangerous to look at the sun using a binocular or telescope, in addition using a homemade floppy disk, old camera film is not advisable. The best way to observe the eclipse – 1. By using a pinhole camera 2. Standard eclipse solar glass 3. A solar filter material that is fitted to a telescope, binocular, digital camera or smartphone camera.