Wearing special glasses, hundreds of astronomy lovers and sky watchers, including kids, gathered across the designated watchpoints set up by the Astronomical Society of Oman in the early hours of Thursday to witness a rare annular solar eclipse, which lasted for two and a half hours.
The rarest astronomical phenomenon, also known as ‘Ring of Fire’, started at around 6:30 am in Oman, 10 minutes after sunrise and lasted till 9 am.
The eclipse reached its peak around 7:40 am, stayed for almost three minutes and then gradually receded by 9 am. The next annular eclipse will happen on June 21, 2020. Then, this type of eclipse could be seen only after 83 years in the Sultanate.
Oman witnessed the last annular solar eclipse in 1901. Today’s eclipse lasted for about two hours and 27 minutes in Oman.
Al Dhahirah, Al Dhakhiliyah, Al Wusta and Al Sharqiyah got a better glimpse of this astronomical delight while the same was seen as a partial eclipse for other governorates in the Sultanate.
“The annular solar eclipse phenomenon is considered a rare natural wonder that is very fascinating to watch. We have planned our holiday to match with the annular eclipse in Oman,” Barron, a tourist from Norway told the Observer.
Annular eclipses occur when the Moon is not close enough to the Earth to completely obscure the Sun, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible.