Saturday February 25, 2017

"Ring of Fire" Eclipse Will Be Visible from Southern Hemisphere Sunday

This year’s first solar eclipse is happening tomorrow. It won’t be a total eclipse because the Moon will only be covering the Sun’s center, but that does mean a cool ring-of-fire effect. You are out of luck if you want to see it in person and don’t live in South America or Africa, but there should be plenty of photos and webcasts to gawk at during and after the event.

News Image

The moon will appear to block varying amounts of the sun depending on where you are located within the eclipse visibility zone. For those who are properly positioned along a narrow path some 8,500 miles (13,700 kilometers) long and averaging roughly 45 miles (72 km) wide, the dark disk of the moon will briefly be surrounded by a dazzling "ring of fire" as the lunar disk passes squarely in front of the sun. Skywatchers positioned outside this path can still enjoy a partial solar eclipse. This spectacle will be visible to more than half a billion people living across the lower two-thirds of South America as well as the western and southern portions of Africa, as well as the sparse population in about half of Antarctica.