By Carlo Piscioneri
Founder of Night Sky Pix
As many astronomers will attest, witnessing a solar eclipse is an experience that they remember for quite some time.
There are even groups of eclipse chasers who travel worldwide to be present and each of the solar eclipse events.
While this year there are six eclipse events, only two of them are solar eclipses, and the other four of them are lunar eclipses. This article will discuss when and where those two solar eclipses will be during the 2020 year.
How Many Solar Eclipses This Year?
As mentioned above, there will be two solar eclipses this year throughout the world. So if you're lucky enough to be in the right part of the world where the event happens then you've got a "bucket list" experience just waiting to be seen.
Not All Solar Eclipses Are The Same
Not too sure how many people are aware of this, but a solar eclipse isn't just a solar eclipse. There are actually different types of eclipses that happen, all depending on how close or not the earth, moon, and the sun align up together.
Each type of solar eclipse will produce a different type of effect, below I'll break down the various types.
Total Solar Eclipse The most popular type of solar eclipse is known as a "Total" solar eclipse. The reason it is the most exciting one is that at the right moment, the moon covers the entire sun and casts a dark shadow over the earth. It's an eerie feeling to be in total darkness during the day.
Partial Solar Eclipse
Like the name suggests, a partial eclipse is where the moon doesn't fully line up and cover the sun. Instead, it will only cover a partial amount of the sun. And that is why it has the name -- partial solar eclipse.
Annular Solar Eclipse
An annular solar eclipse is similar to a total solar eclipse in the fact that the moon directly lines up in front of the sun; the only difference on this occasion is that the size of the moon doesn't fully cover the sun, leaving the outer edge visible of the sun, a visible ring around the edge of the sun.
When And Where Will You See Them?
21st June: (Annular) Eclipse
This first one for the year will be an annular solar eclipse. Spanning over Africa, Southeast Europe, and Asia.
The following is a breakdown of the best locations to view the annular eclipse:
- Africa (Covering Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia)
- Pakistan (southern part)
- India (northern part)
14th December: (Total) Solar Eclipse
On December 14th, 2020, (the last solar eclipse of the year) a large portion of South America will be cast into total darkness.
The total solar eclipse is the most exciting one to be present at. There are many people who travel extremely long distances just to be present during a total solar eclipse.
Many of them are photographers who pack their camera gear and travel to watch and photograph the whole event.
Below are the best places to see it in December.
- Argentina (visible in the afternoon and only in some parts)
How often does a solar eclipse happen?
Every calendar year there are usually between two and up to five solar eclipses. Although five is getting on the rare side of occurrences as the last time we had five was way back in 1935.
Hopefully you're one of the lucky ones who reside in the parts of the world where the two solar eclipses are occurring this year.
If you do, and you want to capture the moment, here is a comprehensive guide to photographing a solar eclipse.