On April 20, 2023, a unique hybrid solar eclipse will take place. But unfortunately, most people in the world will not be able to observe this phenomenon. In Vietnam we only see a relatively weak partial solar eclipse.
What is a hybrid eclipse?
First, let’s talk about the solar eclipse phenomenon. Simply put, this phenomenon occurs when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, blocking some of the Sun’s light towards our Earth. The shadow of the Moon will then fall on Earth.
In areas where the Moon’s shadow passes, people will observe that the Sun is partially covered by the Moon (partial solar eclipse) or completely covered (total solar eclipse). Sometimes the Sun is obscured in the middle, yet revealing a ring of light outside, which we call an annular eclipse.
The image describes the cause of a solar eclipse. Source: NASA
A hybrid solar eclipse is a type of “hybrid” solar eclipse between a total solar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse. When a hybrid eclipse occurs, some regions of Earth will see the full phase, others will see the annular phase (and of course, still others will only see the partial phase).
Can Vietnam observe the solar eclipse on April 20, 2023?
Graphic providing information about the April 20, 2023 solar eclipse from NASA.
This solar eclipse will begin in the southern Indian Ocean, pass through Australia, Southeast Asia and end in the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the visible area of the annular and total phases of the eclipse is very narrow, mainly oceanic.
In Vietnam, we can observe a partial phase. The visible area is that of the southern provinces, from Quang Tri to the south.
On the mainland, the most favorable provinces are Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan. But even here the obscuration is only 8% (i.e. the Sun is only 8% covered). This figure in Ho Chi Minh City is 5%.
At sea, for the Truong Sa archipelago of Khanh Hoa, coverage can reach around 20% (depending on the islands). As for the Hoang Sa archipelago of Da Nang, the coverage is around 5%.
Search here for eclipse information and eclipse level in your location.
Details of eclipse times are as follows:
|Event||UTC time||Vietnam Time|
|The first place in the world to witness a partial mixing||04/20, 01:34:26||04/20, 08:34:26|
|First place in the world to start seeing the full phase||04/20, 02:37:08||04/20, 09:37:08|
|Maximum eclipse||04/20, 04:16:53||04/20, 11:16:53|
|The last place in the world to see the end of a total solar eclipse||04/20, 05:56:43||04/20, 12:56:43|
|The last place in the world to see the end of a partial solar eclipse||04/20, 06:59:22||04/20, 1:59:22 p.m.|
When will Vietnam see another solar eclipse?
From left to right: total solar eclipse, annular solar eclipse, partial solar eclipse. Author: NASA/MSFC/Joseph Matus; NASA/Bill Dunford; NASA/Bill Ingalls
After this solar eclipse, it will be necessary to wait until August 2, 2027 for a new solar eclipse to take place in Vietnam. But…again, the darkness wasn’t much better than this time.
Nearly a year later, on July 22, 2028, we were greeted by a viewing-worthy partial solar eclipse, when some locations reached a 33% obscuration rate.
(Refer to information from Space.com, Timeanddate.com)