A rare hybrid solar eclipse will be visible on Thursday in some areas. The next one will take place in 2031.
A rare celestial event is about to take place – a hybrid solar eclipse will be visible on Thursday.
Here is what to know about it.
What is a hybrid eclipse?
- A hybrid eclipse is a type of solar eclipse that creates an annular or a total solar eclipse, depending on where you stand in relation to the moon.
- During a hybrid eclipse, the moon passes between Earth and the sun, casting a shadow on Earth.
- When the moon fully blocks the sun, it is called a total eclipse, and when the moon blocks the sun but appears smaller, leaving the outline of a solar ring, it is called an annular eclipse. When both occur, it is known as a hybrid eclipse.
- According to NASA, a hybrid eclipse starts as one type of eclipse and transitions to another.
- This happens because Earth’s surface is curved, and “sometimes an eclipse can shift between annular and total as the Moon’s shadow moves across the globe.”
- A hybrid solar eclipse only occurs a handful of times per century.
Where can the hybrid eclipse be viewed?
- The central hybrid eclipse will take place from 02:37 GMT on Thursday and last until approximately 05:56 GMT, according to EarthSky.
- During this eclipse, a total eclipse will be visible in western Australia (up to one minute), Timor-Leste (one minute 14 seconds) and Indonesia (one minute nine seconds), according to the publication Space.
- A partial solar eclipse will be visible in Southeast Asia, the East Indies, Australia, the Philippines and New Zealand.
- The partial eclipse starts at 1:34 GMT and ends at 6:59 GMT on April 20.
Is it safe to look at a solar eclipse?
- It’s never safe to look directly at the sun’s rays, and during a partial eclipse, it is important to wear eclipse glasses at all times, NASA says.
- The same advice applies to total eclipses until the sun is totally and completely blocked. However, it’s really important to know when to stop looking and put the glasses back on.
- NASA says that homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, “are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight.”
- The eclipse will also be live-streamed by NASA via this link starting at 02:30 GMT.
Are other eclipses coming this year?
- If you’re in Africa, Asia, or Australia, you might be able to witness a penumbral lunar eclipse on May 5th. This means the moon will look dimmer because it will be in Earth’s shadow.
- On October 2nd, an annular solar eclipse will be visible in South America.
- On October 14th, another annular solar eclipse will be visible in North America, Central America, and South America.
- A partial lunar eclipse will occur on October 28th, and it can be seen in some parts of the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
- The next hybrid eclipse is expected to occur on November 14th, 2031.