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.
According to the Bible, locusts were one of the ten Plagues of Egypt inflicted by God to pressure the Pharaoh to free the Israelites from slavery.
Begley believes the June 21 eclipse is another sign of armageddon, referring to another of the ten plagues – when God told Moses that “darkness will spread over Egypt” for three days.
The eclipse will be visible from Israel although not as extreme as it will appear in India, leading the YouTuber to speculate that once more the people of the “Holy Land” will be thrown into darkness in a bad omen.
“There’s three major signs in the heavens that are going to happen between now and the end of the year,” he said.
“The first one is June 21. We’re going to have a solar eclipse that’s going to go over the entire Holy Land.
“It’ll be over Israel for six hours. The Sun will turn to darkness for six hours.
“Are you serious? A ring of fire will be around the Sun.”
The second “major sign in the heavens” Begley points to is another eclipse on July 4, a penumbral lunar eclipse which coincides with Independence Day in the USA.
“The midnight Blood Moon over American on the Fourth of July is certainly a prophetic sign,” he said.
Begley is not alone in claiming that this weekend will bring evidence of the Earth’s imminent destruction.
A significant number of conspiracy theorists have recently come forward with their belief that the much-hyped 2012 apocalypse – which famously did not take place – was calculated to happen eight years too early.
Instead, they say, the Mayans predicted a world-ending catastrophe on June 21, 2020, rather than on December 21, 2012, because they were relying on the Julian Calendar rather than the Gregorian Calendar.
Believers in the “doomsday planet” Nibiru have also claimed the mythical space body has entered our solar system and is barreling towards Earth that will end in a deadly collision on June 21.
A video shared on social media this week claimed to show the rogue planet close to Earth.
The conspiracists have made outlandish claims that government officials have used the coronavirus pandemic to conceal the truth about Nibiru from the public.
NASA has said multiple times that Nibiru is an internet hoax, and that if such a planet really were present in the solar system it would be visible to the naked eye.
There is also a theory, promulgated in several popular YouTube videos, that the June 21 eclipse is a cosmic sign that the universe has moved into the Age of Aquarius, the forthcoming astrological era.