An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon covers the Sun’s center, leaving the Sun’s visible outer edges to form a “ring of fire” or annulus around the Moon.
ALSO WATCH: ORISUN ENERGY
In an annular eclipse of the Sun, the Moon casts itsantumbra – the outer part of the Moon’s umbra – on the Earth.
Like total solar eclipses, annular solar eclipses can be seen as partial eclipses from locations inside its penumbra, but outside it’s antumbra.
Annular solar eclipses take place only when:
- The Moon is a new Moon.
- The Moon is at or near a lunar node.
- The Earth, Moon and Sun are perfectly aligned in a straight line.
- The Moon is at its apogee.
Not Every New Moon Night
Even though a new Moon is necessary for an annular solar eclipse to take place, we don’t see an eclipse every night there is a new Moon. This is because the plane of the Moon’s orbital path around the Earth is inclined at an angle of 5° to the Earth’s orbital plane around the Sun – the ecliptic. The points where the 2 orbital planes meet are called lunar nodes. Solar eclipses occur only when a new Moon takes place near a lunar node.