Report By: Nandika Chand | Last Updated June 21, 2020
The annular solar eclipse left a shadowy sunny day as the new moon orbited between the sun and Earth, and passed squarely across the face of the sun. This could be observed in central and northeast Africa, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, northern India and southern China.
However, experts said this solar eclipse will not be a celestial feast for the eyes because the moon will be just a little too far from the Earth to completely cover the disk of the sun. The moon’s distance from Earth will be 237,100 miles. So the moon’s dark umbral shadow will fall 1,500 miles short of reaching the Earth’s surface. The ground track of the anti-umbra traces out a path of annularity and observers who are within this narrow shadow track will see the dark silhouette of the moon, surrounded by a ring of bright sunlight. That ring will be exceedingly narrow.
The bright ring of the sun’s disk will remain uneclipsed and this will be bright enough to prevent a view of the solar corona, keeping the sky just bright enough to squelch any view of the stars and most of the planets. Moreover, along the path of the annular eclipse, the partial phase will last about 90 minutes before and after the ring phase of the eclipse. By the time the sun is 80% eclipsed, it will have the shape of an elongated crescent. Sunlight will be coming only from the sun’s redder limb regions. Overall illumination on the ground will be dusky and yellow. This will become progressively redder.
Observers will feel a drop in temperature. There will be cumulus clouds like fluffy balls of cotton in the sky. And shadows will become distinctly sharper as the sun becomes more misshapen. As this natural phenomenon peaks, there will be an eerie dimming at midday.
Enthusiasts will be thrilled with lingering glints of sunlight appearing through valleys on the eastern limb of the advancing moon. Be sure to watch the spectacular beginning and end of the annular solar eclipse.