A rare form of solar eclipse will be visible in parts of the Southern Hemisphere next week.

It will be what is known as a hybrid solar eclipse, as it will appear as a combination of a total and annular eclipse.

During a total solar eclipse, the Moon entirely blocks the Sun for a short period, whereas during an annular eclipse, the Moon is too far from Earth to block the Sun completely, creating a ring of light.

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming event, and how to watch a stream from the UK.

When is the solar eclipse?

The eclipse will take place on Thursday 20 April, and will be visible from South and East Asia, Australia, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and Antarctica.

However, it will only appear as a total eclipse on very small areas of land in Western Australia, Timor-Leste and West Papua. Totality will largely only be visible from sea.

The eclipse will begin at around 11.30am local time in Western Australia, meaning it will start at around 4.30am in the UK.

Thousands of people are expected to head to Exmouth Peninsula, a tiny town on the coast, to experience the best possible sight of it.

What is a total solar eclipse?

An eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon comes directly between the Sun and the Earth, so that the Earth lies in the shadow of the Moon.

The Royal Greenwich Observatory explains: “Because the Moon is much smaller than the Earth, its shadow only covers a small part of the Earth’s surface. That means that a solar eclipse can only be seen from a certain region of the Earth.

“A total solar eclipse can be viewed from the darkest part of the Moon’s shadow (its umbra); areas covered by partial shade (its penumbra) witness a partial eclipse.”

How can I see the eclipse from the UK?

Sadly the eclipse will not be visible from the Northern Hemisphere. However, there will still be ways to watch it remotely.

Time and Date is hosting a live stream of YouTube, which you can find here. The stream begins at 2.30am UK time.

You will be able to find other streams by searching “solar eclipse live”.

When is the next solar eclipse in the UK?

There are between two and five solar eclipses each year, with a total eclipse taking place every 18 months or so.

However, total solar eclipses are seen every 400 years from any one place on the surface of the Earth.

The next partial solar eclipse in the UK will be on 29 March 2025, and the next total eclipse will be on 23 September 2090.

The last time the path of an eclipse’s totality went over the UK was in 1999. It was one of the most-viewed total solar eclipses ever, due to its path falling on areas of high population density.

Many people went to view the eclipse in Cornwall – the only place in the UK to witness totality.

By admin