On April 20, for astronomy enthusiasts and others, it will be possible to attend a more unique than rare event. At 3.34 Italian time the first solar eclipse of 2023 will occur and it will not be an “any” eclipse. In fact, it will be a very rare hybrid solar eclipse, a phenomenon that occurs more or less every 10 years. It will only be visible live in a relatively small area of the planet; among the luckiest the inhabitants of some Oceanic States.
The rarest eclipses ever
Hybrid solar eclipses are the rarest of all and combine three types of solar eclipses: the partial one, where the passage of the Moon obscures only a segment of the sun; the annular one in which our satellite obscures the entire solar disk except for an outer ring, the famous “ring of fire”; and the total one in which the Sun is totally eclipsed. In particular, the hybrid solar eclipse occurs when the eclipse changes from annular to total and then back again (therefore from total to annular), based on the geographical point from which it is observed and on the position of our satellite.
When does it start and where to see the maximum point
As explained by the Timeanddate website, the partial eclipse will begin at 3.34 (Italian hours), the total one at 4.37, while the maximum point of the eclipse will be reached at 6.16 and will end at 8.59, but it will only be visible in Australia, the Democratic Republic of Timor East, Indonesia, East Indies, Philippines and New Zealand. The total duration of the hybrid solar eclipse will be 199 minutes, however, only 0.004% of the world’s population, about 375,000 people, will admire the most spectacular phase of the phenomenon – annular or total. For those in Italy it will be possible to admire it in the live streaming of Timeanddate, in collaboration with the Perth Observatory.