Technology

Here’s what you need to know

This 12 months ends on a optimistic notice with a spectacular partial photo voltaic eclipse on 14 December 2020. Here’s what you need to know, and when the subsequent photo voltaic occasion can be seen from South Africa.

A partial photo voltaic eclipse happens when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby partly obscuring the Sun for a viewer on Earth.

Solar eclipse, December 2020: What you need to know

Date and time

December’s solar eclipse will take place on Monday, 14 December. You don’t need to miss this one as a result of the subsequent time the moon casts a shadow on a Sun (and it’s seen from South Africa) will solely happen in November 2030.



The present will start on 14 December 2020 at 18:51 and attain its most level roughly an hour later, at 19:43, as per TimeAndDate. The whole occasion can be over in an hour and one minute.

It will solely seem partial for us in South Africa. Those within the Republic of Chile in South America will witness a full photo voltaic eclipse. A full eclipse occurs when the Moon, Earth and Sun line up completely.

What is a photo voltaic eclipse?

A complete photo voltaic eclipse occurs when the moon crosses paths with the solar. During that point, the moon will cast a shadow on Earth, and people in its path will expertise just a few seconds or up to a number of minutes of twilight.

The nearer you are to the central line of the totality, the darker it is going to be in your area. A partial photo voltaic eclipse occurs when the moon doesn’t block the solar totally.

A “ring of fire” or annular eclipse, is when the moon passes in entrance of the Sun however is simply too small to cowl the entire solar’s disk. Because the moon’s orbit is elliptical and never round, it is going to at instances be farther away from Earth.

Image by way of Adobe Stock

Safety first

If you are within the line of totality, the final rule is just not to stare instantly on the Sun. However, there’s an exception. Only when the Sun is totally hidden from view, will you find a way to stare instantly at it and witness the corona.

Apart from that temporary window, you should put on correct eye safety or specialised glasses to take a look at the Sun. If you don’t, you will endure long-term and even everlasting injury to your imaginative and prescient.

Always guarantee that the glasses you buy are ISO licensed. You can use older glasses if it isn’t damaged.

When is the subsequent photo voltaic eclipse?

Several other solar events will occur over the coming decade, together with each an annular and complete eclipse in 2021, and once more in 2023. However, none of these can be seen from South Africa.

We’ll have to wait till November 2030. The subsequent two after that can solely be seen in August 2046 and once more on July 2055. We’ll have to wait till 2060 for the subsequent annular photo voltaic eclipse to be seen from South Africa.

The one after that can solely roll round once more on 23 April 2107.

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