Rain not a spoilsport: Solar eclipse watchers

Image Credit: NASA/JAXA/SAO; Prepared by: Dr. David McKenzie, Montana State University

By Angel Chan

DUBAI: It was just as well it was a gloomy, overcast and rainy Sunday as it reflected the mood of sun-watchers who were hoping to get a glimpse of the 26th February solar eclipse.

Even if it was a bright sun-shinny day, the they would not have been able to view the sky spectacle – the ‘ring of fire’ as it is called.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth, according to Wikipedia. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun’s, blocking most of the Sun’s light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring).

An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region of the Earth thousands of kilometres wide. It will be visible across southern South America in the morning and it ends in south-western Africa at sunset.

The next big solar eclipse this year will take place on 21st August.