The first solar eclipse of 2021 will be a dramatic one, as the moon will glide between Earth and the sun, blocking everything but a dazzling ring of light for a celestial spectacle known as a "ring of fire" eclipse.
The event, known as an annular solar eclipse, occurs when the moon is too far from Earth to block out the entire sun, leaving the sun peeking out over the Moon's disk in a "ring of fire,“ according to NASA.
On the morning of Thursday, June 10, skygazers in parts of North America will get to witness the partial solar eclipse.
According to Space.com, the eclipse will be completely visible in a narrow path starting at 4:12 a.m. ET from the north shore of Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada, and moving over Greenland, the North Pole and finally ending at 9:11 a.m. ET over northeastern Siberia.
While the U.S. won't get a complete "ring of fire," those who live along the East Coast and in the Upper Midwest will get a chance to see a partial solar eclipse just after sunrise. The most ideally situated metropolitan areas to view the partial eclipse are Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., where the moon will block about 60%-80% of the left side of the sun as they rise together, according to the Great American Eclipse website. The time of maximum eclipse varies by location, according to the Farmer's Almanac.
How to Safely Watch the "Ring of Fire" Eclipse
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NASA warns against looking directly at the sun's rays, even when it is partly or mostly obscured, as it can permanently damage the eyes. The agency says when watching a solar eclipse, wear certified solar viewing or eclipse glasses — those known to block not just the visible, but also the invisible, damaging infrared and ultraviolet rays — throughout the entire eclipse if you want to face the sun. Regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing the sun.