Last weekend, an exquisite solar eclipse was visible in South America. The phenomenon, called annular eclipse, involves the moon covering most of the sun and only letting the edges visible, creating something that looks like a ring of fire.
Also, the spectacular view was not only visible to sky gazers. A NASA satellite caught the moment when the moon was covering most of the sun’s surface just above South America.
The eclipse occurred on Sunday, February 26th, and it was visible in certain areas of the Southern Hemisphere. The moon covered the sun and allowed the viewers to see the bright outline of the sun as the moon was standing in front of it.
NASA explains that such eclipses occur when the moon is situated too far away from Earth and it cannot obscure the entire surface of the sun. An annular eclipse, also called a “ring of fire” eclipse, offers amazing views to all its witnesses on Earth and is bound to be an amazing experience.
However, a view from space of an annular eclipse is simply breathtaking. The Terra satellite succeeded in capturing an image just when the eclipse cast its shadow over Patagonia. The area on Earth and the clouds that were just under the shadow suddenly turned to shades of yellow and brown.
This annular solar eclipse was visible on a 100-km band that stretched over South America and another one that stretched over Africa, including countries such as Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many groups of sky gazers gathered in all these places to witness the amazing view offered by the eclipse.
NASA say that two to four solar eclipses occur every year. A total solar eclipse that will be visible in the United States will take place on August 21st. It has been called the Great American Solar Eclipse and it will be visible on most of the U.S.’s surface.
This is the first total solar eclipse that will be visible on the territory of the United States since 1979. Also, it is the first one in 99 years that extends from one coast to another, namely from South Carolina to Oregon.
Annular eclipses might offer an amazing view, but the darkness that drops over the land in total eclipses allows the viewers to watch bright stars and planets that usually cannot be spotted.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons