Dec 26th Annular Eclipse Report

Annular Eclipse Dec 26th Image
Eclipse Photo from Malacca, Malaysia, Dec 26th 2019. Image credit Milan B.

I was really lucky today, got to see most of the eclipse while sightseeing in coastal port of Malacca (Melaka). The photos were taken around the maximum eclipse which was at 13:17 local time. The magnitude was around 0.95 while about 92% of the Sun was eclipsed by the Moon. It was a little eerie, dark but not too dark, shadows were really unusual, but in this town full of tourists today very few people were aware of what was going on high up in the sky. My camera was hand held as well as the solar filter (my son was helping me). All in all, it was an awesome event and made me very happy. The next eclipse is also annular and will be happening in Northern India among other places, so very doable for me.

by RASC Vancouver member Milan B from Malacca, Malaysia

The final “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse of 2019 occurred early on December 26th spanning the Indian Ocean region from the Middle East to the western Pacific. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is visually too small to completely cover the disk of the Sun, leaving in a bright “annulus” or “Ring of Fire” surrounding the Moon.

Most annular solar eclipses occur when the moon is near apogee, the farthest point in its orbit around Earth – so it appears smaller as seen from Earth. This Dec 26th eclipse is unusual in that the moon is not near apogee – it is almost exactly at its mean distance from Earth. In this eclipse, the moon is still too small to cover the sun’s disk completely because the Earth is close to perihelion, its closest point to the sun for the year – so the sun appears larger as seen from from Earth.