Health Editor’s Note: For those of us who did not get to enjoy this solar eclipse which is the final one for 2019…Carol
A ‘Ring of Fire’ Eclipse Dazzled Viewers in Asia and the Middle East
by Brigit Katz/Smithsonianmag.com
From Saudi Arabia to Guam, people across the Middle East and Asia were dazzled by the last solar eclipse of the decade on Thursday—a celestial phenomenon that produced a “ring of fire” in the sky.
The event is known as an “annular eclipse” (from “annulus,” the Latin word for “ring”) and happened when three different factors fell into place, explain Vigdis Hocken and Aparna Kher for Timeanddate.com. As is the case with other solar eclipses, the moon aligned between the Earth and the sun, obscuring the sun and casting its shadow onto our planet. On Thursday, the moon was also close to its apogee, or farthest point from the Earth, and therefore did not cover the sun completely, allowing the blazing edges of the star to shine around the edges as the eclipse reached its maximum point.
“If the moon’s orbit were perfectly circular … all eclipses would be the same,” explains Joe Palca of NPR. “[B]ut the moon’s orbit is elliptical, meaning sometimes it’s farther away from Earth than other times. When the moon is farther away, it appears smaller in the sky. That also means that when it passes in front of the sun, it doesn’t completely…..Read More: