Next week, on the morning of June 10, the darkened new moon will slide in front of the sun, resulting in a partial solar eclipse visible from large swaths of North America and Europe. Some lucky sky watchers in a narrow section of Canada and Siberia will have the opportunity to see the most dramatic part of the show, thethat comes from the moon covering everything except the edges of the sun.
The scientific name for this is an annular solar eclipse, which is a bit different from a total solar eclipse, when the moon is at the correct distance from Earth to completely cover the sun. A total solar eclipse put aand we will get .
The path of the Eye of Sauron-like phenomenon is called the path of annularity, and in this case it goes through some very remote and uninhabited areas, including northern Canada, Greenland, and the cursed North Pole. Add COVID travel restrictions on top of everything, and very few people are likely to see the actual ring of fire.
Your best chance at this point might be to drop a coin or try to make your way to Sky and Telescope magazine chartered flight from Minnesota to see the eclipse from the air.
The good news for millions more is that a partial eclipse will remain visible for a period of time from the northern and eastern reaches of North America and much of europe. The animation below from NASA provides a good approximation of what will be visible from when and where. The large shadow on the globe indicates the day side from the night side, while the lighter secondary shadow indicates where and when a partial eclipse will be visible. The path of annularity is represented by the small red area.
Another rare aspect of this eclipse is that it will happen near dawn in many places. This means that with a nice, flat horizon to the east, like on a boardwalk, the sun may appear to have horns as it rises instead of its usual curved disk.
“Good places to see this phenomenon are Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Toronto, Philadelphia, New York and Atlantic City.” explains Michael Zeiler from GreatAmericanEclipse.com. “Other places will see the rising Sun appear like a shark fin, like Ottawa, Montreal and Boston.”
Remember, never look directly at the sun without proper eye protection, even (especially) during an eclipse. It’s still a blinding fireball up there.
For the vast majority of us who won’t be able to get down the path of annularity this time, make plans to head to the western US on October 14, 2023, when the ring of fire will reappear.
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