The spring of this year leaves two eclipses. The first will be a special eventbecause it is a mixed or hybrid eclipsesomething that only happens twice every century. In this case, it starts as annular eclipsebecomes total and returns to being annular shortly before finishing.

The term eclipse comes from the Greek word ‘ekleipsis’, which means disappearance or abandonment, of the sun or the moon that abandons or disappears from the sky. To understand how an eclipse occurs, whether of the sun or of the moon, it is important to take into account the positions and orbits (or movements) of the Earth, the moon, and the sun in space.

The moon orbits the Earth in an elliptical path, and the Earth orbits the sun in a similar way.

sun movement

The sun is the only celestial body of the three that does not describe a trajectory around any of the other two -neither the moon nor the Earth-, although it does have its own rotation and moves in the Milky Way. When the three celestial bodies are aligned in a particular way, they produce a solar or lunar eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned and the moon blocks the sun’s light, creating shadows on Earth. A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth, and moon are aligned and the Earth blocks the sunlight, creating a shadow on the moon.

The mixed or hybrid eclipse of this April, also called void-total, In this case, it is an eclipse of the sun that is characterized by the darkening of the sky progressively for hours, first with an eclipse that will go from being partial to annular – and that will reveal what is known as the ‘ring of fire’, which in they are actually the edges of the sun – and finally they changed altogether.

sky darkening

All this leads to a surprising darkening of the sky. It is calculated, in fact, that in this case, this impressive eclipse will last for about four hours, among which several phases will be seen.

The POT has recorded what he was doing 18 years that a similar eclipse did not happen, and although other eclipses are expected this year (such as a penumbral lunar eclipse on May 5 or an annular solar eclipse on October 14), this is especially expected.

In fact, throughout this century there will be 223 solar eclipses, 68 of them will be total, 72 annular and only 7 will be mixed (cancel/total). There will also be 76 penumbral (partial) eclipses, and 230 lunar eclipses -85 of them total, 58 partial and 87 penumbral.

The space agency has announced that this hybrid solar eclipsewho has called ningaloo -like the strip of coral reef off the west coast of Australia- will be viewable by thousands of people around the world.

The pity is that it will not be visible from Spain or from anywhere in Europe: it will only be visible in Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Oceania. Beyond Southeast Asia, other areas such as some South American countries will be able to see the eclipse, but partially.

early morning start

The partial eclipse will begin on the 20th at 3:34 a.m. Spanish peninsular time in the Indian Ocean and will end at 8:59 a.m. in the Pacific Ocean. The total duration of the phenomenon will be 325 minutes (just under 5 and a half hours), according to the National Geographic Institute Español.

The mixed eclipse will begin at 4 hours and 37 minutes (Spanish peninsular time) at a point in the Indian Ocean east of the Kerguelen Islands in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. It will traverse the Indian Ocean from southwest to northeast, making landfall in Western Australia, East Timor and Indonesia. It will end at 7 hours and 57 minutes in the Pacific Ocean.

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He maximum of the mixed eclipse It will take place at 7:17 a.m. (Spanish peninsular time) southeast of East Timor. The maximum magnitude will be 1.01 and its maximum duration 1 minute 16 seconds.

The one that will be visible from Spain is the second eclipse that will occur this spring. It is a penumbral lunar eclipse, which will occur on May 5, and will be visible throughout Spain except in the northwest of the Peninsula and the Canary Islands.