Science & Tech

What is a ‘Hybrid’ Solar Eclipse in Ningaloo?

The Ningaloo Eclipse, a ‘hybrid’ solar eclipse, occurred on April 20, 2023.

Solar Eclipse ‘Hybrid’ in Ningaloo

  • On April 20, 2023, a unique astronomical occurrence occurred.
  • The Moon crossed squarely between the Sun and the Earth, creating a shadow across a sliver of land in Western Australia.
  • It was a “hybrid” eclipse, beginning with an annular eclipse and progressing to a total eclipse.
  • The eclipse’s path passed over the Ningaloo Reef, a world heritage site in Western Australia.

How uncommon are such occurrences?

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth’s surface.
  • Solar eclipses, on the other hand, do not happen every month because the Moon’s orbit is inclined by around 5 degrees relative to Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
  • As a result, the Moon’s shadow normally misses Earth, although the alignment is occasionally just ideal for a solar eclipse to occur.
  • In the instance of the Ningaloo Hybrid Solar Eclipse, the Moon was at the proper distance from Earth to produce both an annular and total eclipse as it passed over the Sun.
  • This type of eclipse is extremely unusual, occurring around once every 400 years.
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