If you plan to be anywhere in Europe, Africa or parts of western and southern Asia on Monday, Oct. 3, you will be treated to a solar eclipse.
This will be an annular or ring eclipse of the Sun, so called because the Moon's disk will appear too small to completely cover the Sun's disk. This circumstance is due to the fact that the Moon will be a bit farther from Earth than average; in essence, this is really nothing more than a fancy partial eclipse.
The panoply of striking phenomena seen during a total eclipse such as the solar corona and prominences and the dramatic darkening of the sky accompanied by the appearance of some of the brighter stars and planets, will not be seen. Rather, at maximum, sky watchers will see a "penny atop a nickel" effect, with the Sun mimicking a blazing ring of light rimming the dark silhouette of the Moon (creating the so-called "annulus" or ring effect).
The path of annularity averages 118 miles/189 kilometers in width. After touching down in the open waters of the north Atlantic roughly a thousand miles east of Newfoundland, the path will head in an east-southeast direction, making landfall in northwestern Iberia, near to the border shared by Portugal and Spain.
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