Annular Eclipse of the Millennium

January 27, 2010


Photographer: Kosmas Gazeas
Summary Author: Kosmas Gazeas

January 2010 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

The trio of photos above shows the new Moon passing in front of the Sun on January 15, 2010 as observed from Kangaru, Embu District, Kenya. This was an annular solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon transits in front of the solar disk at a distance too far to completely obscure the Sun. The result is a dramatic ring of fire. From central Africa, where the antumbral shadow began, the 180 mile (300 km) wide track of the Moon’s shadow raced across eastern Africa and then the Indian Ocean, where the maximum duration of annularity reached 11 minutes and eight seconds. The duration of this solar eclipse was longer than any that will follow until 3043 -- the longest lasting annular solar eclipse of the entire millennium!
Coordinates for Kangaru, Embu, Kenya: -00.49073, 37.46240

Earth Observatory image: Annular Solar Eclipse over India