KEY POINTS

  • A 'Ring of Fire' solar eclipse is happening on Sunday, June 21
  • In certain parts of the world, such as in India, people will get to see the 'Ring of Fire' 
  • The next Great North American Total Solar Eclipse will be in April of 2024

Two weeks after the June 5 penumbral lunar eclipse, an annular solar eclipse will grace the skies on Sunday, June 21. In certain parts of the world, people will get to witness the “ring of fire.”

Very early on Sunday, parts of Africa and Asia will witness a full annular lunar eclipse, starting from 3:45 UTC with the maximum eclipse at 6:40 UTC. 

According to NASA, in a narrow stripe from Africa to the Pacific Ocean, particularly at the eclipse’s peak in northern India, the Moon will block 99.4% of the Sun, making the “ring of fire” visible in the area. Meanwhile, according to TimeandDate.com, those in South/East Europe, much of Asia, North Australia, Africa, and the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas will witness at least a partial eclipse.

Anyone who wishes to watch Sunday’s eclipse live from where it will be visible must wear solar eclipse glasses to protect their eyes as looking directly at the Sun may cause permanent eye damage or even blindness.

Although it will not be visible anywhere in the Americas, anyone from any part of the world can still witness it by watching livestreams of the event. Organizations that will livestream the eclipse include the Virtual Telescope Project, which will begin its coverage at 10:30 p.m. PT on Saturday evening, and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, which will host a Japanese-language livestream of the partial eclipse.

Solar eclipses happen when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking the light of the Sun. The reason Sunday’s annular solar eclipse is called a “ring of fire” eclipse is because the Moon is too far away from the Earth for a complete covering of the Sun, so it will leave a circle of light around its shadow.

The next total solar eclipse will be on Dec. 14 this year, and it will be visible in Argentina and Chile. As for the United States, the next total solar eclipse that will be visible in the area will be on April 8, 2024. That “Great North American Total Solar Eclipse” will be visible across 16 states in North America, so about 130 million people will have the chance to witness this celestial event.

The 'ring of fire' eclipse, as seen from Sri Lanka The 'ring of fire' eclipse, as seen from Sri Lanka Photo: INSTITUTE OF ASTRONOMY, SRI LANKA (IOAS)/THARULOWA DIGITAL /