First solar eclipse of 2021
The new moon will sweep past the sun to create this year’s first solar eclipse on Thursday, June 10. On this day, the moon in its elliptical orbit around the Earth will be too far away from us to completely cover the sun. Thus, a shiny ring – or ring – will surround the silhouette of the new moon in mid-eclipse. It is the outer edge of the sun, not completely hidden from view. People started to call these eclipses the “ring of fire”. Essentially, these are partial eclipses, albeit very dramatic. As with any partial eclipse, you need eye protection to view an annular eclipse. Looking with the naked eye will cause eye damage.
Across much of North America, people will see the sun in eclipse at sunrise on June 10. The places to the north and east of the United States offer the best view. Or you can watch the eclipse live online, on Virtual Telescope TV. The live stream is scheduled for June 10, starting at 9:30 a.m. UTC (translate UTC on time.) More info below.
Read more: 7 tips for safe sun viewing
Path of the annular eclipse
The trajectory of the annular eclipse or “ring of fire” is represented by the curved red stripe on the map below. Astronomers call this the path of annularity. You have to be in this narrow trail along the Earth’s surface to see the “Ring of Fire”.
In total, this eclipse lasts about 1 2/3 hours (100 minutes). It begins at sunrise in Ontario, Canada (on the north shore of Lake Superior). Then, the path of the eclipse circles the north of the globe. Halfway there, the biggest eclipse occurs at local noon in northern Greenland. Then, the path of the annular eclipse passes through the North Pole of the Earth. It ends at sunset over northeast Siberia.
From any point along this annular solar eclipse path, the middle or annular “ring of fire” phase of the eclipse lasts a maximum of 3 minutes 51 seconds.
Eclipse at sunrise in North America
Eclipse times in this section and the one below are via timeanddate.com. Thank you, all of you!
Across much of North America, people will see the sun in eclipse at sunrise on June 10. In the United States, locations to the north and east will have an advantage: a deeper eclipse will remain visible longer after sunrise. For example, from New York, the magnitude of the eclipse will reach a whopping 0.80 (80%). And, from there, the eclipse will last 1 hour and 6 minutes after sunrise.
From the US Midwest and East Coast, finding an unobstructed view in the direction of sunrise is to your advantage. Otherwise, you could miss the eclipse entirely.
A clear horizon is particularly necessary at the periphery of the eclipse observation zone:
From Savannah, Georgia, the magnitude of the eclipse at sunrise is only 0.028 (2.8%). The eclipse subsequently narrows, lasting only 3 minutes and 24 seconds after sunrise.
From Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the magnitude of the eclipse at sunrise is only 0.022 (2.2%). It ends one minute and 37 seconds after sunrise.
Find eclipse times for hundreds of cities via EclipseWise.com
June 10 eclipse in Europe and Asia
Europeans can watch the partial eclipse from start to finish because it will unfold higher in the sky. That is, it will happen more around the middle of the day on June 10. Even from Europe, however, it will be a fairly shallow partial eclipse. For example, from Oslo, Norway, the eclipse will last 2 hours and 26 minutes, with a maximum eclipse magnitude of just over 0.40.
From Asia – where the partial eclipse is visible – the eclipse will occur in the late afternoon on June 10. And, from Beijing, China, the moon will first eclipse the sun for about 12 minutes. before sunset. The eclipse’s maximum magnitude of 0.08 (8%) will occur just around sunset on June 10.
Who will see the partial eclipse?
Outside of the path of annularity, a partial eclipse will be seen by people over a much wider swath of the Earth’s surface. This includes northern and eastern Canada, as well as the far north of Alaska. In the United States, the partial eclipse will be visible from the northern Midwest and along the east coast (except Florida).
The partial eclipse falls over the North Atlantic Ocean and most of Europe. It falls on the western and northern parts of Asia.
The closer you are to the path of annularity, the deeper the partial eclipse. Look at the world map above. Going south of the annular eclipse path, note the numbers: 0.80, 0.60, 0.40, and 0.20.
Magnitude and obscuration of the eclipse
These figures (0.80, 0.60, 0.40 and 0.20) refer to the eclipse magnitude. It is the fraction of the sun diameter covered by the moon. For example, 0.80 means that 80% of the sun’s diameter is covered by the moon. Further south, the moon covers 60% of the diameter of the sun, then 40%, and so on. South of 0.2, the moon covers less than 20% of the sun’s diameter.
For a different perspective, the map below via Michael Zeiler at GreatAmericanEclipse.com shows the eclipse obscuration. This is the percentage of the sun disk which is covered by the moon at the maximum eclipse in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
In six lunar months
Exactly six lunar months (six new moons) after this annular eclipse, there will be another solar eclipse. It will fall on December 4, 2021. Unlike June 2021, the December 2021 new moon will feature the closest and therefore the largest super moon of the year.
Thus, the eclipse of December 4, 2021 will be a total solar eclipse. But, alas, you will have to travel to Antarctica to see it.
Bottom line: On June 10, 2021, the rather distant new moon gives us an annular solar eclipse – ring of fire. The path of annularity will cross the northern part of the globe (north-eastern Canada, Greenland and far-eastern Siberia). A much larger part of the world (the northeast and far north of North America, much of Europe and Asia) can observe a partial solar eclipse. Good eye protection is essential!