When you look at the sky on Thursday, December 26, you may end up catching a rare glimpse of the Sun in a ring shape as the annular solar eclipse takes place from 9am to 12.29pm.
Sky-gazers will witness the eclipse when the Moon comes between the Sun and the Earth, blocking most of the Sun's light. However, it will not cover the entire Sun making it visible like a ring.
Where can you see it from?
People in countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Sumatra, southern India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Guam can enjoy the beautiful and rare sight when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. However, some regions such as the Middle East, Asia and Australia may witness only a partial solar eclipse, known as the 'ring of fire'.
Singaporeans can watch the eclipse after a long time as the last annular eclipse in the country was seen in 1998. The next opportunity to view such a phenomenon will come again only after 44 years in February 2063.
In case you miss the solar eclipse, you can watch it online on several sites such as TimeandDate.com, a YouTube site named Cosmosapiens, Thuralowa Digital and many more. The eclipse will end on December 26 itself at 3:05 am EST (0805 GMT).
Proper eye care to witness the eclipse
If you want to experience the spectacular sight, then you must wear proper eye protection glasses to avoid eye damage from the harmful rays of the Sun. Experts say that even when 99% of the surface of the Sun is covered by the Moon during a partial eclipse, people should keep wearing protective glasses as the remaining light is still intense enough to damage the eye. They also suggest that welders glass number 14 is safe as solar filter for direct viewing of the eclipse.