2010 brings us a decade into this century and in the middle of the first month it will bring us the first solar eclipse of the year. on January 15th the annular solar eclipse will be in the middle of the African continent traveling across the Indian Ocean and on towards Asia.
The annular solar eclipse is not a total eclipse of the sun. what occurs is that the center of the sun will be blocked out by the shadow of the moon. The outer rim or diameter of the sun will be visible displaying an orange ring. The path that the greatest annularity will take begins in Cameroon taking an easterly course over the Indian Ocean. It will curve towards the north east to pass over the southern tip of India and Sri Lanka then onwards to Myanmar and China. Countries like Mozambique, Madagascar and Singapore are in the sub solar path.
Duration of this solar eclipse is estimated to be around 11 minutes and 8 seconds. The instant when the axis of the shadow from the moon passes closest to the Earth’s center will occur at 07:06 UT time. since this is an annular solar eclipse the magnitude will only be measured at .919. The magnitude is the fraction of the diameter of the sun that will be obscured by the moon.
There is only one other solar eclipse that will take place in the year 2010 and that is on July 11th. this is categorized as a total eclipse. The shadow of the moon will obscure all the diameter of the sun. The greatest eclipse path will take place over the South Pacific and it will just graze the tip of Chile and Argentina. these are the only two continental places where this total solar eclipse will be viewable. South pacific islands like Easter Island are near the greatest eclipse path. Partial viewing of about ten or twenty percent may occur over Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia. The duration of this total solar eclipse is five minutes and twenty seconds. The next total solar eclipse won’t be until the fall of 2012.
These are the only two solar eclipse occurrences for the year of 2010. The following year will bring us four more however; none of these will be a total or an annular solar eclipse. different kinds of solar eclipses occur at least twice a year which means that you can plan ahead to view one. below is a chart of solar eclipses for the next two years:
YearDateType of Solar EclipseViewable Location2010January 15AnnularAfrica, India, Myanmar, China2010July 11TotalSouth Pacific, Easter Island, Chile, Argentina2011January 4PartialEurope, Africa, Asia2011June 1PartialEastern Asia, Iceland2011July 1PartialAntarctica, South Africa, new Zealand2011November 25PartialAntarctica, South Africa, new Zealand