How to See the “Ring of Fire” Solar Eclipse This Weekend
Have you been a fan of the 2017 solar eclipse? It was one of those moments when we were all-in-this-together, when office buildings were empty and people were pouring out into the streets for a few minutes (now a lot of this seems foreign). Most people have used eye protection without looking directly into the sun, and now they may be looking for ways to fix the next eclipse. While this show won’t be as big as it was in 2017, people in some parts of the world have a chance to see a pretty amazing eclipse this weekend. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the “ring of fire” eclipse?
Before we move on to how to see it, let’s talk about what an eclipse of the “ring of fire” really is. Basically, this is when the sun and moon align in the sky at night, but unlike a total eclipse, the moon does not cover the entire sun, leaving something that looks like a ring of fire. Here’s a little more from Alex Young, associate director of science in the Heliophysics Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, who spoke to CNN recently :
“Annular eclipses are similar to total eclipses in that the Moon, Earth, and Sun are aligned so that the Moon is moving directly in front of the Sun when viewed from Earth. But a total eclipse does not occur, that is, the Moon does not completely cover the visible disk of the Sun, because the Moon is further away, and therefore its apparent size in the sky is [slightly] smaller than the Sun. This means that a tiny ring in the form of a ring of the solar disk is visible around the moon. “
Young also mentioned that solar eclipses occur about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse awaited us on June 5, and another one is expected on July 5.
How to watch an eclipse
The festivities begin tomorrow night with a partial eclipse starting at 11:45 pm ET on June 20 and ending at 5:34 am ET on June 21. This is followed by a break for several hours before the start of the annular eclipse at 12:47. AM EST. It will peak at 2:40 am ET and end at around 4:32 am ET. For more specific instructions – including where and when you can best see it from where you live – visit TimeAndDate.com .
And there is a catch: the total eclipse will only be visible over Central Africa, the southern Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, Northern India and South Central China, Young told CNN . A partial eclipse will be observed over most of Asia, Africa, southern and eastern Europe, northern Australia and parts of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
But this is 2020 and everything is being broadcast live. So even if you can’t go out to the backyard to see the eclipse, you can watch it along with the rest of the world at Space.com .
Eclipse Eye Safety
If you happen to be in one of the places where the eclipse will be visible, you will need to take the usual precautions. Even though it is night now, looking directly into the sun at any time of the day can damage your eyes. And whether you are looking through a camera, binoculars, or a telescope, you need to make sure that what you are using has the right type of filter. For specific instructions, visit the American Astronomical Society (AAS) website.
But what about those solar eclipse goggles that have been collecting dust since 2017? You will not believe, but they are no longer considered safe because they were made before both came into force new international safety regulations . The AAS website has information on how to find a newer version of your glasses. Or just watch the live stream.