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The Ultimate Sky Show: All You Need to Know About the 2023 Solar Eclipse – A Spectacular Celestial Phenomenon

We explain why this solar eclipse is so special.

The Ultimate Sky Show: All You Need to Know About the 2023 Solar Eclipse – A Spectacular Celestial Phenomenon
Pedro Domínguez

Pedro Domínguez

If you followed the astronomical calendar of 2023, you will have seen that just this month the first solar eclipse of the year will take place. It will take place this Thursday, April 20, and it has the strange peculiarity that it will change from an annular eclipse to a total solar eclipse in a matter of minutes.

However, the solar eclipse will not be visible all over the world. As usually happens in this type of astronomical events, there are already many travelers who have traveled or will travel between now and Thursday to the regions where the solar eclipse will be completely visible, which will not be repeated for a few years. Want to know more? We explain everything you need to know about this curious and unique solar eclipse of 2023.

A hybrid solar eclipse

Most of you reading these lines will know that there are partial eclipses and total eclipses. Depending on whether, under our perception, the Moon blocks only a part of the Sun or the totality of it, it is of one type or the other. There is also another type, which could be considered as partial, called “annular eclipse”, in which the apparent diameter of the Moon is smaller than the visible disk of the Sun, looking like a “ring of fire”.

This first solar eclipse of 2023 will be special because it is considered a hybrid solar eclipse. This strange type of eclipse is really an annular eclipse that, with the passing of the minutes and due to the movement of the Earth, ends up becoming total, to, shortly after, become annular again. After this eclipse, the next one we will see in this category will be in November 2031, and then we will not have one again until the year 2164.

It will only be seen in the southern hemisphere of the Earth

On April 20, when the eclipse takes place, the Moon will cast its shadow on the Earth for a path of almost 13,000 kilometers that will occur almost entirely in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. However, it will also cover some land areas, where it will be seen in all its splendor.

The areas where the solar eclipse will be visible are Western Australia, East Timor and West Papua. Thousands of adventurers will travel to these places this week in order not to miss this unique event. It will also be visible in several areas of Southeast Asia, where people will have the opportunity to see a partial solar eclipse.

Coincides with the Shawwal Moon

April has been a strong month for two of the world’s most important religions: Christianity and Islam. At the beginning of the month, we were able to contemplate the Pink Moon, the first full moon of spring, and the one that marks the date of Easter. This week, a similar event will take place for Muslims: the Shawwal Moon, a crescent moon that ends Ramadan, according to the Islamic calendar.

Although this happens every year (on different dates), the unusual thing about the Shawwal Moon of 2023 is that it will coincide with the New Moon that will produce the solar eclipse of April 20. An event that has no recorded precedent and, given the rarity of hybrid solar eclipses, we will surely not see it again for many, many years.

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Pedro Domínguez

Pedro Domínguez

Publicist and audiovisual producer in love with social networks. I spend more time thinking about which videogames I will play than playing them.

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