In a striking coincidence, the 2020 summer solstice will occur on the same day as a major annular eclipse. But some believe it's more than a coincidence, and that the darkness that will fall on June 21 is a sign that the apocalypse is near. An annular eclipse takes place when the moon is too far away in its orbit to completely block out the sun, creating the eerie "ring of fire" effect. The solar eclipse this Sunday is the first time the breathtaking phenomenon has occurred this year, and experts say it will be the "deepest" one of the century as it will take place during solstice, when the sun is at maximum elevation.
The moon will reportedly cover up to 98.8% of the sun's disc, making the eclipse appear different than previous events with just a narrow ring visible in the sky for about 30 seconds. Millions of people in the northern Indian region will see a particularly unusual eclipse, according to astrophotographer Ajay Talwar. "Instead of a wide fiery ring, the sun may appear as a necklace of shiny beads (known as Baily's Beads) due to light filtering through the moon's hills and valleys," he told the Times of India. But that's not the only reason some think this weekend's eclipse is significant, for they fear it's a sign of the end of the world.
Christian evangelist Paul Begley believes the world is coming to an end, and has seized on this year's catastrophic events as proof of the coming apocalypse. "Guys, we are in end time plagues," he said in a recent video on his YouTube channel where he has more than 335,000 subscribers. "Locusts of a biblical proportion are destroying countries like Yemen, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan now has been swamped, India overwhelmed with locusts." Countries in East Africa and the Middle East have been struggling with unprecedented numbers of locusts after a particularly fruitful breeding season, with their pest control abilities hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.