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First Solar Eclipse 2017: Catch The 'Ring Of Fire' On Sunday

First Posted: Feb 25, 2017 03:20 AM EST
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Get a glimpse of the first solar eclipse this year on Sunday morning (Feb. 26). This solar eclipse is an annular eclipse, in which the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun and the shaving of the Sun's surface will appear around the Moon. This will have an effect referred to as the "Ring of Fire."

Fred Espenak, a retired NASA eclipse expert, said that this eclipse's path stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic and Africa, through Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia and Congo. The "greatest duration" of the eclipse will occur at the west of Chile in the South Pacific Ocean at 8:16 a.m. ET. It will last for about 4 minutes and 22 seconds when the eclipse ribbon is 59 miles wide.

Meanwhile, the "greatest eclipse" part will appear in the east of Buenos Aires in the Atlantic Ocean at 9:54 a.m. ET. This is when the Moon shadow's axis passes closest to Earth's center and will last about 44 seconds, according to The Washington Post.

In the greatest eclipse, the width of the antumbra at this location on Earth will shrink to just 19 miles (31 km). On the other hand, the annular or ring of phase will last just 44 seconds. The shadow will increase to 44 miles (70 km) when it arrives at the west coast of Africa at Lucira, Angola. The ring of phase will then increase to just over a minute. To catch this rare phenomenon, people may watch the live stream at the astronomy website Slooh.com at 7 a.m. ET.

Meanwhile, there will be another solar eclipse in the coming months. A total solar eclipse will be visible only in the continental U.S. on Aug. 21, 2017. On the other hand, a partial eclipse will be visible in the entire North America. This will be the first total solar eclipse from the United States since 1979, according to Live Science. 

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