A hybrid solar eclipse — one that shifts between a total and annular eclipse — will be occurring on November 3, 2013. For those of us in the Eastern part of the Americas the eclipse will be visible Sunday morning, shortly after sunrise, and for those in Africa and Europe, around noon/early afternoon.
Central Africa will get the best show, with totality visible in parts of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Gabon. The Americas will “only” get a partial eclipse, that will only be visible if you are watching from a site with a completely clear view of the eastern horizon.
A hybrid eclipse, also known as a annular/total eclipse, is a relatively rare type of solar eclipse that shifts between a total and annular eclipse during its progression. At some points appearing as a total eclipse, and at others as an annular eclipse. So while it’s a somewhat rare event, it isn’t all that different different than other solar eclipses.
Those of us in the Americas won’t get to see all that much of the somewhat rare eclipse anyways — with only about 44% of the Sun’s disc being obscured by the Moon when seen from Miami, and about 64% when seen from Boston. That said, it’ll still be interesting to see the Sun rise while appearing to be missing a large chunk.
Those in Africa, however, will get a very good show — with Central Africa getting the best show. The narrow path of totality will move through the region right in the middle of the day, bringing a minute or so of temporary darkness. The place of maximum eclipse will be a bit south of the Ivory Coast and Ghana, in the Atlantic Ocean, and at that place it will last for a full one minute and 39 seconds.
For information on the all of the other astronomical events of the year, see: Astronomy 2013, Comet ISON, Solar Eclipse, Supermoon, Lunar Eclipse, Geminids, Leonids, Super Venus, Etc.
Image Credits: NASA; Eclipse via Flickr CC