By Bohol Island News Staff | 02:08 PM December 26, 2019
Saturday’s solstice may have marked the shortest day of the year across Asia, but Thursday may be the darkest day of the year as a solar eclipse causes the day to turn dark.
Most of Asia will experience a partial solar eclipse on Thursday, as well as some parts of eastern Africa and northern Australia, but a small area will experience an annular solar eclipse, sometimes called a ‘ring of fire’ eclipse. This includes part of the Middle East, southern India, northern Sri Lanka, and part of the Philippines.
It will be best viewed in Balut and Batulaki, Sarangani Island, Davao Occidental, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Meanwhile, other parts of the Philippines will be able to observe a partial solar eclipse.
In Metro Manila, the astronomical event is set to begin at 12:32 pm, peak at 2:19 pm, and will end at around 3:47 pm on December 26.
Pagasa said that an annular eclipse happens when the moon is at its farthest distance from the Earth as it transitions along its orbit directly in front of the sun.
Due to this distance, the moon appears smaller and does not fully obscure the sun, causing a “ring of fire” effect, or annulus – a thin ring of sunshine that surrounds the silhouette of the moon.
The next annular solar eclipse visible in the Philippines will be on February 28, 2063.