A big partial eclipse will be visible Sunday in eastern Russia, China, North and South Korea, and Japan.

By Jamie Carter
January 04, 2019
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/Getty Images

Remember the total solar eclipse that swept across the U.S. on Aug. 21, 2017? Although Sunday's celestial event in East Asia won't be anything as dramatic, the moon will again pass in front of the sun as seen from cities including Tokyo, Japan; Seoul South Korea; Shanghai, China; and Yakutsk in eastern Russia.

What is a partial solar eclipse?

Only possible at New Moon, a partial solar eclipse is when the moon moves in front a portion of the sun, as seen from specific locations on Earth. It's exactly what everyone in the U.S. saw who watched away from the Path of Totality on Aug. 21, 2017. It's also what everyone inside the Path of Totality that day saw either side of totality. There will be no marvelous minutes of totality on Sunday, so observers in Russia, China, North and South Korea, and Japan will need to keep their protective solar eclipse glasses on at all times, and use special solar filters on cameras and telescopes.

When is the partial solar eclipse?

What time the partial solar eclipse occurs depends on where you watch from. The entire event takes a few hours, but here are a few local times for the peak of Sunday’s partial solar eclipse in cities around Northeast Asia, with the maximum percentage of the Sun being covered from that location. A clickable Google Map is available here.

Yakutsk, Russia – 10:14 a.m. (57%)
Oymyakon, Russia – 11:29 a.m. (60%)
Vladivostok, Russia – 10:57 (37%)
Tokyo, Japan – 10:05 a.m. (30%)
Osaka, Japan – 09:57 a.m. (25%)
Sendai, Japan – 10:09 a.m. (35%)
Sapporo, Japan – 10:13 a.m. (43%)
Harbin, China – 08:52 a.m.  (37%)
Beijing, China – 08:34 a.m. (20%)
Shanghai, China – 08:32 a.m. (9%)
PyeongChang, North Korea – 09:46 a.m. (25%)
Seoul, South Korea – 09:45 a.m. (24%)

What happens during a partial solar eclipse?

It's an event that takes a few hours, starting from 'first contact' when the moon begins to move in front of the sun. It slowly takes a larger and larger 'bite' from the sun, until slowly moving away. On Sunday, the biggest 'bite' it takes is 62% as seen from Northeastern Siberia in Russia. The actual Point of Greatest Eclipse is over the Kolyma River in the Sakha region of Siberia.

When is the next total lunar eclipse?

There is set to be a 'Super Blood Wolf Moon' eclipse on Jan. 20-21, 2019. Visible from the entirety of North and South America, as well as from Western Europe, a total lunar eclipse happens only during the occasional Full Moon. It happens to be during a supermoon, too. During that spectacle, the moon will slowly turn a reddish, copper color, and stay that way for around an hour. It's the third total lunar eclipse in the last 18 months, but the last until 2021.

Why is there a lunar eclipse two weeks after a solar eclipse?

Solar and lunar eclipses always come together, sometimes as many as three in a row. If the conditions are right to cause a solar eclipse — a New Moon crossing the ecliptic, the path the Sun takes through the sky — they are also right to cause a lunar eclipse two weeks later. However, the alignment is rarely spot-on, so it's common for a partial solar or lunar eclipse to precede or follow a total solar or lunar eclipse.

When is the next total solar eclipse?

July 2, 2019 will see a total solar eclipse lasting just over two minutes, almost exactly the same as that seen across the USA on Aug. 21, 2017. However, this time it will be visible from the southern hemisphere, specifically the South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina.

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