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Friday, March 20, 2015

This Friday, March 20, sees a rare combo of total solar eclipse, Supermoon, and the first day of spring, will see an astronomical triple play when a rare total solar eclipse occurs on the same day as the vernal equinox, and a supermoon makes an appearance. The equinoxes are the only times when the solar terminator is perpendicular to the Equator. As a result, the northern and southern Hemispheres are illuminated equally. An equinox occurs twice a year, around 20 March and 22 September.

A total eclipse occurs when the moon comes between Earth and the sun, casting a lunar shadow onto the Earth’s surface along a narrow, 62-mile-wide (100-kilometer) path. Adding to the uniqueness of the total eclipse, falling on the vernal equinox, which officially occurs at 22:45 GMT (6:45 p.m. EDT).

Some country will have the chance to witness a solar eclipse, supermoon and spring equinox all in one day. There is also a partial solar eclipse, that will be visible across all of Europe, northern Africa and much of northern Asia and the few inhabitants of the Danish Faroe Islands and Norway’s Svalbard archipelago will be lucky enough to witness a total eclipse.