BOSTON (CBS) – early risers get ready! An annular solar eclipse will be visible for almost an hour and a half on Thursday morning. You’ll want to get to a place with a clear view of the horizon, like a beach. The show starts at 5:07 a.m. and lasts until 6:32 a.m., peaking at 5:33 a.m.
The moon will pass between the earth and the sun. It is located near the furthest point in orbit from Earth, making it appear smaller than the Sun. To see what looks like a ring of fire, you need to travel north to Canada, where the places are on the direct path of the solar eclipse. Unfortunately, Boston is not one of them. We will experience a partial solar eclipse. It will look more like a shark fin, as if the moon took a bite out of the sun. Looking directly at it can damage your eyes, so there are safe ways to look at it.
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“From Boston you can see about 80% of the Sun’s diameter covered by the moon, but the part that is still there is too bright to be viewed safely unless you have a safe solar filter or welding goggles ( that) you can get at a hardware store today, “said local astronomer Jay Pasachoff.
Pasachoff is the Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College, Williamstown. He explained that there is an easy way to see the solar eclipse with a household item.
“You can also make what is known as a pinhole camera where you punch a hole in a piece of cardboard, hold it in the sun, but look away and look at the wall; You should see the shape of the eclipse, ”said Pasachoff.
Pasachoff will go to extremes to get the best view. He will be one of 30 on an early morning charter flight to cross the border to see the annular solar eclipse.
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“We take off in the morning at 3:15 am, fly over the border – with permission, of course – and for the main run, the four and a half minutes of the ring, we fly in a straight line from southeast to northwest and see the ring eclipse directly out of the window , about 3 degrees above the horizon, and then we come back and have breakfast, ”he said.
This won’t be the first time he has seen a solar eclipse from an airplane.
“When I was a freshman at Harvard, there was a solar eclipse that started just off the coast of Marblehead. We saw a beautiful total solar eclipse from the window of an airplane and I was hooked, ”explained Pasachoff.
Since that first solar eclipse, he has toured the world to get the best view of many others that followed over the decades.
“I’ve seen 72 solar eclipses – half of them total, the rest ring-shaped or partial,” said Pasachoff.
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When asked by WBZ whether one attracted more attention than the others, he said: “Well, always the last or always the next. Everyone is exciting in their own way. I’m looking forward to my seventy-third solar eclipse tomorrow. “