Hyderabad: The year’s first major celestial event is just around the corner! Strangely, this one is quite different because it is a solar eclipse with a difference.
In the last week of April, a rare and quite odd celestial event in the form of a hybrid solar eclipse is set to take place.
According to the annual eclipse data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the hybrid solar eclipse will occur on April 20 and is expected to be visible over South East Asian countries, including parts of India, extending up to Australia.
While a total solar eclipse happens when the Sun, Moon and Earth are in the same direct line, in a rare hybrid solar eclipse, it appears as an annular eclipse at some places as the Moon is lined up between the Sun and Earth. In some other places, the eclipse will be visible as a total eclipse because the Moon’s shadow moves across the Earth’s surface.
Simply put, in a hybrid solar eclipse, some locations of the Earth will witness a total eclipse, while the other regions will see an annular eclipse. The hybrid solar eclipse is a once-in-a-decade celestial event. The last time a similar eclipse occurred was in 2013 and the next one after April will occur in November 2031.
The track of the hybrid solar eclipse starts from the southern Indian Ocean and extends up to Australia, the NASA eclipse data indicated. Amateur astronomers in Hyderabad say depending on the prevailing local weather conditions, the hybrid solar eclipse could be visible in several parts of the country.
According to Sky and Telescope, a US-based monthly amateur astronomy magazine, there will be four eclipses this year. Apart from the hybrid eclipse of April 20, three more will occur, including a lunar eclipse in May, and the annular and partial solar eclipse in October.
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