Rare ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse will coincide with summer solstice 2020
The sun, moon and Earth will align in the sky Sunday in a rare “ring of fire” solar eclipse — timed perfectly to coincide with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
The June 21, 2020, solar eclipse will be visible across swaths of Africa and Asia, but not in the United States — although it will be livestreamed on TimeandDate.com and other sites.
The eclipse will happen when the moon is at the furthest stage of its orbit around the Earth, meaning it will appear to be slightly smaller in the sky than usual.
For that reason, when it aligns in front of the sun, it will not completely block out the sun’s light. Instead, it will create a so-called “ring of fire” — or “annulus” around the dark sphere of the Moon.
For New Yorkers wanting to watch the livestream, it will begin June 20 at 15 minutes before midnight. The maximum eclipse will be at 2:40 a.m. June 21 and the eclipse ends at 5:34 a.m. June 21.
It will be the first time these two astronomical events — an annular solar eclipse and the summer solstice — have occurred on the same day since 1982, the UK’s Independent noted.
According to Time and Date, the two events will not coincide again until June 21, 2039.
Travel restrictions in place due to coronavirus concerns are making it difficult for stargazers worldwide — even the Stonehenge summer solstice celebration in Britain has been canceled and will be livestreamed instead, according to Express.com.
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