A uncommon “hybrid” solar eclipse is set to give viewers the show of a lifetime subsequent week, as the moon blocks out the sun more than Australia, East Timor and the eastern Indonesian islands.

On April 20, skywatchers in the area will see the moon’s shadow pass in front of the sun, pocketing it like a gold coin in a magic show, just before sliding away to unveil it in all its fiery glory. 

The eclipse will start off at 9:34 p.m. EDT on April 19 (01:34 UTC April 20) and finish at two:59 a.m. EDT (06:59 UTC April 20), according to timeanddate.com (opens in new tab).

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The sky show is named a hybrid solar eclipse simply because it is a mixture of each a total solar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse, presenting viewers with 1 eclipse, then the other as the moon’s shadow glides more than Earth’s surface. 

In a total solar eclipse the moon absolutely blocks out the sun, permitting the wispy strands of the solar corona to be briefly observed with the naked eye. In an annular solar eclipse, even so, the moon is a tiny as well far from Earth to completely block out the sun, making a halo of burning plasma about the moon’s outer edges that damages the eyes if viewed without the need of eclipse glasses. 

No matter whether viewers will see the eclipse as a total or an annular eclipse depends on exactly where they are positioned along Earth’s curved surface relative to the moon. Most eclipse-watchers will see an annular solar eclipse, but these who uncover themselves beneath a slender track operating from Antarctica to Western Australia will witness a total eclipse. 

In addition, two spots will present viewers with the eclipse transitioning from annular to total and back once again, but they are in the middle of the Indian Ocean. 

In Australia, a total solar eclipse will only be visible in 1 inhabited location — the modest and remote town of Exmouth that is anticipated to see crowds of lots of thousands flocking to witness the fantastic alignment of the sun, moon and Earth. 

For Indigenous Australians — who applied the skies for navigation and in their mythology — solar eclipses like these represented the short conjoining of the Moon Man and Sun Lady, who otherwise chased every other about the sky. Uncommon solar eclipses have been regarded by lots of communities as undesirable omens (opens in new tab).

If you are in 1 of the regions fortunate adequate to witness the hybrid eclipse initially hand, don’t forget to put on specific eclipse-watching glasses to shield your eyes from the sun’s damaging glare.

For the rest of us, we can tune in to watch on the web at timeanddate.com (opens in new tab), which will be broadcasting a livestream of the occasion.

The subsequent hybrid solar eclipse will seem more than North America on Nov. 14, 2031.

By Editor

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