The year 2023 is going to witness four eclipses, including two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses. The very first solar eclipse of the year is going to occur on April 20, 2023, and it is going to be a hybrid solar eclipse. This rare event is going to be visible from many parts of the world, except India. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about this celestial event.
What is a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse takes place when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking all or part of the Sun’s light from reaching the Earth.
This astronomical phenomenon occurs when the apparent diameter of the Moon is greater than the apparent diameter of the Sun, thereby casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface.
What is a Hybrid Solar Eclipse?
A hybrid solar eclipse is a rare celestial event in which the eclipse changes its appearance from total to annular and back again as the shadow of the Moon moves across the Earth’s surface.
The totality takes place in a narrow path throughout the Earth’s surface, making the partial solar eclipse observable over a nearby region approximately thousands of kilometers wide. The possibility of hybrid solar eclipses is quite rare, with only 3.1% of solar eclipses in the entire 21st century being hybrid eclipses.
Where Can the Hybrid Solar Eclipse be Seen?
The hybrid solar eclipse of 2023 will be visible from countries in East and South Asia, Antarctica, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and Australia.
The totality for this hybrid solar eclipse will be observable in the Barrow Island in Western Australia, the North West Cape peninsula, eastern parts of the East Timor, and parts of Papua in Indonesia. The totality will also be visible in the Damar Island.
What are the Precautions to be Taken While Viewing a Solar Eclipse?
It is crucial to mind some precautions while looking at solar eclipses as these events can lead to permanent eye damage, which may even lead to complete blindness.
Proper filters such as black polymer or welding glasses are recommended by NASA.
Moreover, one can also try projecting the image of the Sun on a plain surface like a whiteboard with the help of a telescope. One can also observe the eclipse with the help of binoculars or a telescope.
Timings of the Hybrid Solar Eclipse
The very first solar eclipse of the year 2023 will commence at 07:04 AM and end at 12:29 PM, as per the Indian astrological calendar.
However, the solar eclipse will not be visible in India. The actual times in UTC, when the eclipse occurs, are as follows:
- Very first location to observe the partial eclipse commence: April 20, 01:34:26 UTC
- Very first location to observe the full eclipse commence: April 20, 02:37:08 UTC
- Maximum eclipse: April 20, 04:16:53 UTC
- Last location to view the full eclipse end: April 20, 05:56:43 UTC
Last location to view the partial eclipse end: April 20, 06:59:22 UTC
Why is the Hybrid Solar Eclipse of 2023 Unique?
The hybrid solar eclipse of 2023 is unique because it will have portions of the path surrounding sunset and sunrise as annular. It is taking place only 4.1 days after the perigee, and the apparent diameter of the Moon is going to be 1.02% greater than the average.
When Was The Last Hybrid Solar Eclipse?
The last hybrid solar eclipse took place on November 3, 2013. It was a rare celestial event that occurred when the Moon passed directly between the Earth and the Sun. The hybrid solar eclipse of 2013 began as an annular solar eclipse, where the Moon partially covered the Sun’s disk, resulting in a visible “ring of fire” effect around the Moon’s edges.
As the Moon moved further across the Sun’s surface, the eclipse transformed into a total solar eclipse, with the Moon completely blocking the Sun’s light and causing darkness in the path of totality.
This hybrid solar eclipse was visible from the eastern Atlantic Ocean, central Africa, and the Middle East. The totality was observable in Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During the eclipse, people were advised to take precautions while observing the phenomenon as looking directly at the Sun could cause permanent eye damage. Proper eye protection such as black polymer or welding glasses were recommended by NASA.
The hybrid solar eclipse of 2013 was the last of its kind for the decade, and the next one is expected to occur on April 20, 2023, as mentioned earlier. These types of eclipses are rare, with only around 5% of solar eclipses being hybrids.
Bernie Grady is a technology and business journalist who writes about trending topics in the world of technology, entertainment, and business. She has a keen eye for spotting new trends and loves to share her insights with her readers. Bernie has been writing professionally for over 10 years and has experience covering a wide range of topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.