Australia’s rare ‘hybrid’ solar eclipse: ‘It got dark, the birds stopped chirping’

A rare hybrid solar eclipse, what is it?
A hybrid eclipse is a rare type of eclipse that changes from annular to total and reverses its path. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves between our planet and the Sun, completely covering the Sun. An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon slides between the Earth and the Sun, but when the Moon is far away from the Sun it cannot be completely covered. That leads to a “ring of fire,” a fiery ring around the moon.

A hybrid solar eclipse occurs when the apparent size of the Moon is equal to that of the Sun as seen from Earth. As a result, the curvature of the Earth begins to play a role in the appearance of the eclipse. Where the Moon is near zenith during an eclipse, its apparent size is greatest, creating a total solar eclipse. Where the Moon is closer to the horizon, observers will see an annular solar eclipse because the apparent size of the Moon is slightly smaller than that of the Sun.

Will we ever see it in Belgium?
Hybrid solar eclipses occur once every ten years. Of the 224 solar eclipses in the 21st century, seven will be hybrids. The next hybrid eclipse is in 2031. Solar eclipses are only ever visible in a small part of the world. We already have to go to August 11, 1999 for a total solar eclipse in Belgium. The next one will be something for the great-grandchildren on May 25, 2142.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *