If you happened to be traveling in the Middle East and Asia yesterday, you might have been fortunate enough to glimpse a beautiful celestial spectacle. Visible in Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, an annular solar eclipse graced the sky, with the sun forming a ring of fire around the moon. Annular solar eclipses occur when the moon covers the sun’s center, but leaves the outer edges exposed, which then appear to form a bright ring. During total solar eclipses, the moon covers the entirety of the sun.
For Singaporians, the eclipse was a treat not to be missed. Albert Ho, president of the Astronomical Society of Singapore, said, “This will be the first of only two annular eclipses visible from Singapore for the rest of the century. So in that sense, it’s a very rare event for us.” Indeed, the next solar eclipse in Singapore isn’t expected to occur until the year 2063.
If you missed this one, plan for the next annular solar eclipse that will occur in June 2020 and will be visible from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, northern India, Tibet, China, and Taiwan.
The next total solar eclipse will take place on December 20, 2020, and will be visible from the South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina.
There are around two solar eclipses per year visible from somewhere on Earth.