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Difference between Annular Eclipse and Total Eclipse

Difference between Annular Eclipse and Total Eclipse

Are you an astronomy enthusiast itching to learn more about different types of eclipses? Eclipses are incredibly beautiful astronomical phenomena that capture the attention and imagination of observers. Fortunately, there is a range of awe-inspiring eclipse events that can be observed with special care — including the majestic annular eclipse and dramatic total eclipse. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the difference between these two popular eclipses so you can gain a better understanding of their incredible beauty.

What is Annular Eclipse?

An Annular Eclipse is a rare astronomical event that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, but the Moon’s apparent diameter appears smaller than the Sun’s, creating a ring-shaped sun with a full dark core. In this phenomenon, the Moon blocks out most of the light from the Sun in a remarkable visual spectacle.

Annular eclipses are infrequent compared to other Solar Eclipses, occurring typically only once or twice a year and most commonly taking place only at certain localized places on Earth. While Annular Eclipses themselves typically last no more than several minutes depending on geographical location, their effects can be visible for much longer afterward due to stunning sunrays shooting intangibly around an otherwise charcoal sky.

What is a Total Eclipse?

A Total Eclipse is a breathtaking natural occurrence when the Sun, Moon, and Earth align perfectly with the Moon blocking out the light from the Sun from a certain geographic region. Observers of a Total Eclipse can experience a range of awe-inspiring views, such as a night sky-like darkness, a golden glow on the horizon, and a 360-degree sun halo known as a corona.

This remarkable event only lasts for a few minutes but creates lasting memories for all who witness a Total Eclipse. To accurately predict when and where a Total Eclipse will occur, astronomers rely on calculations and modeling of astronomical positions which allows them to accurately map out the path it will take across the Earth’s surface.

Difference between Annular Eclipse and Total Eclipse

Annular and total eclipses are two types of celestial events that occur when the sun, moon, and Earth form perfect alignment.

  • Annular eclipses occur when the moon is farthest from our planet and therefore appears smaller in comparison to the sun, its light doesn’t cover up the entire solar disc.
  • When this occurs, a ring of light will form around the silhouette of the moon giving off an effect called annularity. On the other hand, total eclipses occur much more rarely, but they are spectacular sights to behold.
  • During this type of eclipse, the moon is closest to Earth and its size appears larger than that of the sun. This allows it to completely block out all direct sunlight and form a dark shadow across our sky.

Annular eclipses may be more frequent than total eclipses but it lacks a bit in awe as compared to witnessing a total eclipse where day briefly becomes night.


An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun’s, causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring) surrounding the dark disk of the Moon. A total eclipse happens when the Moon completely obscures sunlight from reaching Earth. Total eclipses are rare because they only happen when the sun, moon, and earth line up perfectly in space. This can only happen during a new moon phase. So see one for yourself – find out when the next eclipse will be visible from your location! And remember – never look directly at a partial or total solar eclipse without proper eye protection!

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