BOSTON (CBS) – Get ready. On Thursday, June 10th, an astronomical delight awaits us at sunrise. A “ring of fire” solar eclipse!
Sounds terrifying? No need to worry, just a somewhat rare and fantastic solar show.
CONTINUE READING: “I’m Not the Neediest”: Harvard-affiliated Verda Tetteh rejects $ 40,000 Fitchburg High scholarship
Secure a little. . . No doubt you have all heard of or seen a “total solar eclipse” in your life. At this point, the new moon moves between the earth and the sun, completely blocking the sun from our view. The entire landscape goes from day to night in minutes, followed by lots of “ooohhs” and “ahhhhs”.
This event is NOT a total solar eclipse, but what is known as an “annular solar eclipse”. This happens when the moon is in its first lunar phase and further away from earth in its orbit. The moon appears smaller at a greater distance and therefore cannot hide the entire solar disk. Instead, the moon covers most of the sun’s interior, leaving only a streak of light around the edges. . . hence the term “ring of fire” or “ring of light”.
Solar eclipses are much more difficult to see than lunar eclipses. To see the full show you need to be on a fairly small path on the surface of the earth AND you need to wear special glasses so as not to harm your eyes.
To see the complete “Ring of Fire” eclipse this time, one would have to take the path that will lead from parts of Canada via Greenland to Northern Europe and Asia. If you’re on the way, you can see the ring of fire stage for almost four minutes before the sun and moon change their orientation enough to cause a partial solar eclipse.
The total solar eclipse lasts about 100 minutes from Ontario via the North Pole and ends in Siberia.
Not in the mood for a trip to Greenland or Siberia? I have good news! You can sit right in your garden and see a “partial solar eclipse” of 73%.
For exact times in your garden, I would suggest visiting the timeanddate website: Map of Annular Solar Eclipse on June 10th, 2021. Here you can literally click on the map of your city and get an overview one second at a time.
In Boston, for example, the partial solar eclipse actually begins before sunrise.
Sunrise takes place at 5:07:08 a.m. (already under a partial solar eclipse)
The maximum solar cover (72.91%) will occur at 5:33:21 AM.
CONTINUE READING: “I don’t know if he’s killing me”: Marlboro attack victim said she had to fight back
The partial solar eclipse ends at 6:32:39 AM.
Essentially, the sun will rise with part of its upper right disk covered by the moon. The moon appears to slide over the sunny side from right to left, with only about 25% of the lower part remaining at maximum solar eclipse, then it will move away from the left solar side before the end.
I should mention that this will not be the last solar eclipse this year!
On December 4th, 2021 parts of our planet will experience a total solar eclipse! Just a little bad news, you’d have to travel to Antarctica to see it. We don’t even get a partial view this time.
Next annular solar eclipse in North America is October 14, 2023
Next total solar eclipse in North America: April 8, 2024 (100% of the solar eclipse path runs across northern New England!)
The same applies here: If you want to view the solar eclipse, please do not do so with the naked eye. You can buy special solar eclipse viewing glasses online (pretty cheap). Or you can watch one of several live streams online.
Of course, none of this matters if it’s cloudy on Thursday morning. At this point, I’m pretty optimistic that MOST of us will be able to capture some, if not all, of the solar eclipse with relative cloudlessness.
On Wednesday night, a front wavers with a few showers and storms. Any showers or storms will be long gone by Thursday morning and most models will only show a little residual moisture at medium and low levels. So I think we can’t ask for a 100% clear sky early Thursday, but rather a partially cloudy forecast. . . maybe 30-40% clouds.
For each area, I think the chances of seeing the solar eclipse are good. . . However, there will likely be some spots (perhaps near the coast or above the southeastern mass) where there are enough clouds to spoil the show. We’ll keep updating this forecast as we get closer to the event!
MORE NEWS: Tree falls on Haverhill Home during a heavy storm
Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ