Everyone get ready for the earth’s annular solar eclipse. This Sunday February 26, the first solar eclipse of 2017 is bound to light up the sky with a “ring of fire”.
In one of NASA’s blogs, they state, “An annular eclipse is the product of almost the same celestial geometry as a total solar eclipse -- that is, from the perspective of some place on Earth, the moon crosses in front of the sun’s center.” During the rare annular solar eclipse, the moon lines up with both the earth and the sun while also being in its furthest position from the earth. Due to the enormity of the sun and the moon’s orbital position, the moon is only able to cover the center of the sun and not its rays. So when we look up at the sky, the eclipse itself looks like a “ring of fire” around the moon.
Unfortunately, the eclipse will only be visible in the Southern Hemisphere. Its path is said to start west of southern Chile and Argentina and ends over the Republic of Congo, Zambia, and Angola.
If you’re not in an area that will get to see the eclipse, don’t worry just yet. Later on in August, a total solar eclipse is set to cross over the United States for the first time in 40 years. Just remember to bring some sunglasses with a proper solar filter. A total eclipse is still no excuse for staring directly at the sun!