The annular solar eclipse of 2013 has started, though the event is only viewable in person to those living in parts of Australia and the Southern Pacific Ocean.
Those in range of the eclipse who have good weather will be treated to an event that will turn the sun into a “ring of fire.” Those in Western Australia should catch their glimpse of the eclipse just as the sun rises above the horizon.
For those who don’t live in that part of the world, the Slooh Space Camera and the Coca-Cola Space Science Center have been live-streaming the 2013 solar eclipse.
Slooh president Patrick Paolucci stated of the event, “We have multiple feeds set-up, so weather permitting, we should have some nice looks. We will be on air for at least a few hours.”
Slooh’s webcast is featuring views from an observatory in Australia, along with expert commentary on the annular eclipse from Paolucci, Slooh outreach coordinator Paul Coxx, Prescott Observatory manager Matt Francis, and Astronomy Magazine contributing editor and writer Bob Berman.
Prescott Observatory in Arizona should also provide some live shots of the sun. The Coca-Cola Space Science Center’s webcast of the 2013 solar eclipse also features live views from Australia. Skywatchers interested in the show and more information can email their questions to email@example.com.
The annular solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on our planet. The moon appears smaller than the sun in the sky, making it appear like a ring of fire. During the eclipse’s peak, 95 percent of the sun is covered by the moon.
Despite the eclipse, the sun will not be noticeably darker. For this reason, observers who can watch the 2013 solar eclipse live are urged to use special protective eyewear to avoid damage to the eye. The path of the eclipse will be through Australia and into Papua New Guinea. The Solomon Islands, Gilbert Islands, and other parts of the Pacific Ocean will also get to peak at the event.
The annular “ring of fire” solar eclipse is the first of 2013, but it will not be the last. A rare hybrid solar eclipse where an annular eclipse transitions into a total eclipse, will be seen in the northern Atlantic Ocean and into ecuatorial Africa on November 3.
[Image via NASA]