Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Rare 'hybrid' eclipse sweeps across the globe plunging parts of Europe, Africa and US into darkness

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives as a rare hybrid solar eclipse takes place during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 3, 2013
Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing drives as a rare hybrid solar eclipse takes place during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 3, 2013
The moon crosses in front of the sun during a partial solar eclipse in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. Clouds moving over the city allowed only brief views of the eclipse which in southern Europe was partial. The total eclipse was seen sweeping east across Africa. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
The moon crosses in front of the sun during a partial solar eclipse in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013
The moon crosses in front of the sun during a partial solar eclipse as seen from the Givatayim Observatory, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. People gathered at the Israeli Astronomical Association center to watch the partial solar eclipse. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
The moon crosses in front of the sun during a partial solar eclipse as seen from the Givatayim Observatory, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. People gathered at the Israeli Astronomical Association center to watch the partial solar eclipse. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

A rare 'hybrid' eclipse has swept across the globe blocking out the sun and plunging parts of Africa, Europe and the US into darkness.

The eclipse, which moved east after being first visible in the US this morning, is known as a 'hybrid' because the extent to which the sun is obscured varies dependent on where it is viewed from.

The view of it will switch between an annular and total eclipse throughout its journey.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. In the case of a total eclipse the moon is at the right distance to completely block out the sun.

In an annular eclipse the new moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the visible circle of the sun leaving a ring of sunlight around the black circle of the moon.

A total eclipse lasted around 10 seconds in northern Kenya, whilst people in other parts of Africa saw a partial eclipse, dependent on their location.

People in America and southern Europe also saw a partial eclipse. According to Nasa the best total eclipse was visible at 13:51GMT in Gabon.

Astronomers warned people not to look directly at the Sun without taking safety precautions.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz