People in the Northern Hemisphere will be able to spot a “ring of fire” in the sky when an annular solar eclipse moves across our planet this Thursday (June 10).
Solar eclipses occur when the Moon moves directly between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow on our planet and blocking at least some of the sunlight. This Thursday at sunrise, we can expect an annular solar eclipse, which occurs when the Moon is too far from Earth in its elliptical orbit to completely block the Sun, as happens during a total solar eclipse. Instead, it leaves the sun’s outer ring open, creating the appearance of a “ring of fire” in the sky during the only annular solar eclipse in 2021.
“It won’t look like your normal sun,” Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, told Space.com. Although the full “ring of fire” will be visible from the northernmost latitudes (including the North Pole and parts of Greenland and Canada), most viewers will only see a partial version of the eclipse, which will be visible from parts of North America. Europe and Asia.
A partial eclipse, in which the moon appears to bite the sun, may not be as spectacular as an eclipse of an annular ring of fire. However, Faherty noted that even a partial eclipse can be incredible. The partial eclipse on Thursday will look like the “Death Star is in front of the rising sun,” she said, referring to the moon-sized space weapon from Star Wars.
Internet broadcasts: How to watch online solar eclipse “ ring of fire ” on June 10
Connected: When, where and how to see the “ ring of fire ” solar eclipse 2021
“From our point of view, it covers most of that. It covers enough to get the effect that there will be a black dot around which the rest of the sun will shine, which will end up looking like a ring of fire,” she said.
“This is cool,” said Faerty, “because the moon’s shadow will traverse the Earth just as it does over the North Pole.” She added that a solar eclipse over the North Pole is actually quite rare.
In the United States, a partial eclipse will be visible along areas of the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, and even northern Alaska, and observers can look for an event in the morning sky close to the horizon, just before or during sunrise. (But don’t look directly at the rising sun without proper eye protection.)
Observers across most of Canada and parts of the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and North Africa will also see a partial solar eclipse.
“The sun will rise, although it will be partially eclipsed,” added Faherty. “In New York it will be eclipsed by about 72% or 73% as it grows … [and] when it rises, it approaches the horizon, so you can see it with buildings or trees, ”Faherty said.
You can visit NASA’s Scientific Imaging Studio for more information on viewing an eclipse from where you live. Anyone looking to see an eclipse, no matter how well visible you are, be sure to wear an eclipse goggle, as viewing an eclipse without goggles can cause serious damage.
Now, recently, sky watchers gaily watched Super Bloody Moon Flower May, the only total lunar eclipse of the year. And Faherty explained that it was no coincidence that the two eclipses were happening so close to each other.
“Most people may not be aware that these eclipses are chasing each other,” she said. “You get lunar eclipses and solar eclipses one after another. And the reason for this is that the Moon revolves around the Earth, it is not perfectly circular, but almost perfectly circular when lined up.
“So it’s kind of a deviation from the plane of the Earth-Sun system by about five degrees, so we don’t get total lunar and total solar eclipses every month. But when you do get a total lunar eclipse, you are approaching a total solar eclipse, because this means the system is in line. ”
Email Chelsea Gohd at cgohd@ or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.