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Total solar eclipse on Aug. 21

The Earth is poised to experience a total solar eclipse on August 21, says the Ministry of Science, Technology and Research.


Ministry sources said yesterday that the Aug 21 occurrence would be the first total solar eclipse since 1955.


It will be visible as a total solar eclipse in North America, whilst in Western Europe, North-Eastern Asia, South America and North-Western Africa will experience a partial solar eclipse.


A total solar eclipse (as seen from Planet Earth) is a type of eclipse that occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, and the moon fully blocks (“occults”) the Sun.


It is said that the succeeding total solar eclipse will occur on July 02, 2019. However, this particular eclipse will only be visible to those in South America.


The Ministry further said an annular solar eclipse would occur on December 26, 2019, which will be clearly visible to Sri Lanka.


An annular eclipse occurs when the sun and moon are exactly in line with the Earth, but the apparent size of the moon is smaller than that of the sun. Hence the sun appears as a very bright ring, or “annulus”, surrounding the dark disk of the moon.

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