How Thursday’s ring of fire eclipse works and where you can watch it
Parts of Earth will be treated to a solar eclipse on Thursday morning. Unfortunately for us Floridians, we won’t be in line to see this one as we live too far south. But, areas of the Northeast US, Great Lakes and swaths of Canada will get to see a piece of the eclipse early on Thursday morning, and it should be a cool show!
Since we’ll be out of the prime viewing region for this solar spectacle, if you want to see it for yourself without taking a last-minute trip north you’ll need to watch it online. NASA has a special livestream of the event you can watch by clicking here.
Coverage begins at 5 a.m. Thursday.
Thursday’s eclipse has a few names depending on where it will be viewed from. It’s technically a partial solar eclipse for people in areas like New York City and Boston. That’s because of the position of the moon, from their perspective it will appear as if a chunk of the sun is missing because of how the moon will be crossing in front of it (looking almost like a cookie appears when a big bite is taken from it).
In parts of Canada though, mainly across northern Ontario, northern Québec, Nunavut and Northwest Territories, the “ring of fire” eclipse show will be visible. Here, from the Earth’s perspective the moon will move more directly across the sun, giving the appearance of a large black circle with a thin illuminated outline hovering overhead like you see in the image below.
The event these regions will see early on Thursday morning is sometimes referred to as an annular eclipse. That is a solar eclipse happening when the moon is on the part of its orbit where it’s relatively far away from Earth. Something to remember with the moon’s orbit is that instead of being a perfect circle like a steering wheel or hula-hoop, the moon has an elliptical orbit in more of an oval shape than a circle shape. This means the distance the moon is from the Earth varies based on where it happens to be as it orbits our planet. When the eclipse happens on a point on the orbit where the moon’s far away, it’s not big enough to block out the entire sun.
You can learn more about eclipses from NASA by following this link.
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