A Hybrid Solar Eclipse Is Happening This Week, Here's How to See It
The rare celestial event only happens a few times per century.
You might want to clear your calendar and take some notes, as this week's hybrid solar eclipse will be one for the books.
Happening roughly just a few times per century, this week's hybrid solar eclipse is set to happen on Thursday, April 20. The celestial event is pretty rare and, as Space.com points out, the last one happened in 2013, while the next one will occur in 2031. After that, stargazers and space enthusiasts will have to wait until March 23, 2164 for the next one.
A hybrid solar eclipse is quite an amazing sight. This kind of eclipse is one that changes its appearance, and it goes from ring-shaped (known as "annular") to total solar eclipse and then back to ring-shaped as the moon's shadow moves across the surface of the Earth.
If you live in the "Land Down Under," you're absolutely in luck. As In The Sky reports, the hybrid solar eclipse will be visible from the South Pacific, and the moon's shadow will pass over western Australia, East Timor, and Indonesia starting at 9:36 pm EDT on April 19 and ending at 2:59 am EDT on April 20.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, though, you can still see it—except, you'll need to use technology to do so. Multiple websites will be livestreaming the event, and you'll be able to tune in to witness the rare phenomenon. TimeAndDate.com will show the event live on its YouTube channel starting at 9:30 pm EDT on April 19. The Gravity Discovery Centre & Observatory will host its own livestream beginning at 10 pm EDT on the same day, and you can check that out on the center's YouTube channel.
Whether you decide to watch the eclipse in real life or via livestream, it is important for you to use protection for your eyes. As Space.com points out, looking at the sun with an unaided eye (even via a livestream!) can cause permanent damage to your vision. Regular sunglasses won't cut it—you'll need to use solar eclipse glasses for direct viewing (or solar filters for telescopes and binoculars if you're using those). Alternatively, you can use a pinhole camera, which is a DIY device you can make at home. You can learn how right here.
Even if we're stuck with just a livestream in the northern hemisphere, this week's hybrid eclipse will be good practice for when we will be in an ideal viewing spot for the 2024 total eclipse next April.