“Ring of Fire”

Nature treated stargazers and astronomers across South America and Africa with a spectacular “Ring of Fire” as Moon passes through Sun, blocking it completely. Residents and scientists of South America and Africa enjoyed a front-row sight of extravagant ‘Ring of Fire’ at the night skies of South America and Southern Africa on 26th February 2017, Sunday. Moon moved between the Earth and the Sun on this day, eventually overcrowding Sun almost entirely for next few minutes, resulting in a dazzling red superficial edge, scientifically called “Ring of Fire”.

However, of all the eligible regions, astronomers and stargazers in Argentina were the first privileged people to enjoy the ostensible annular solar eclipse as the phenomenon moved beyond South America soon after 1200 GMT, on target for Africa. The best view of the annular eclipse was detectable in a 100-kilometer or 62-mile band all through Chile, Argentina, Angola, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Astronomers and skygazers used the special telescopes, protective glasses and homemade cardboard pinhole tools to witness and enjoy the spendthrift event of Moon blocking Sun. Initially, they watched Sun in its complete shape, but soon it vanished briefly as the Moon cross the path of Sun. More than 100 space enthusiasts congregated on Sunday morning in the southern city of Sarmiento – the point in Argentina where the visibility of the annular eclipse was at its peak.

Slooh Community Observatory hosted a live telecast of the annular solar eclipse and captured the views of the phenomenon from Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. As shown in the observatory in Chile, the solar eclipse landed at its peak point at nearly 8:35 a.m. EST (1335 GMT), resulting in a prominent, perfect, and symmetrical ring of fire in the sky.

Scientifically, an annular solar eclipse takes place when Earth’s only natural satellite Moon crosses direct opposite to the face of the sun but does not come into view largely in the sky to completely conceal the star. Once Moon passes Sun’s path, its black disc blanks out most parts of the Sun’s front part, making it invisible from the earth. But there is a sliver ring of the sun which remains noticeable, and this is called ‘ring of fire’.

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Kanishk Singh, co-founder, and editor-in-chief at The TeCake, has forayed in the Science and Space for over five years, he enjoys his stint as an editor of several local magazines. He has written several editorials and high-level documentations.

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