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‘Ring of fire’ eclipse to visit Canada on June 10 with partial view from U.S.

The eclipse will occur near sunrise in North America

A partial solar eclipse observed over the Persian Gulf from Kish Island, Iran on Dec. 26, 2019. (Mohsen Salahshour Ch./Spaceweather.com)

Still have your solar eclipse glasses from 2017? You’ll get to use them next week.

A partial solar eclipse is set to hang in the morning skies June 10, over parts of the northern and eastern U.S. — a crescent sun emerging from behind the interceding moon at sunrise. The slender sickle-shaped sun will be visible across a stretch of the Lower 48, providing an excellent photo op in a number of cities and the chance to check out something cool.

Farther north, in parts of Ontario, Quebec and Nunavut, Canada, a full “ring of fire” solar eclipse will be visible, a hollow sunlit circle climbing minutes after sunrise — but continued travel bans prevent entry into Canada for leisure, to the dismay of astrotourists.

Also known as an annular solar eclipse, the ring of fire results when the moon passes in front of the sun, but isn’t close enough to Earth to fully blot out the solar disk. That only happens during a total solar eclipse.

Since the sun’s direct rays are not fully blotted out by the moon, solar eclipse glasses are required for viewing. ISO-certified glasses such as the ones tens of millions of Americans used during the buildup to the total solar eclipse in 2017 can be purchased from a number of vendors. Those recycling previously used glasses should inspect the lenses to ensure they are free of perforations, scratches or imperfections that could compromise the safety they offer.

Can’t find the protective glasses to watch the solar eclipse? Go old school.

People in the Northeast will have the best view of the eclipse, with some viewing possible in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

When can I see it?

Sunrise. As the sun climbs over the horizon, you’ll notice the solar disk occupy a slim, banana shape, like a fingernail moon rising. In Washington, sunrise is at 5:42 a.m. on June 10, just five minutes before maximum eclipse. Fifty-five percent of the sun will be covered. Thereafter, the moon and the sun’s overlap will gradually diminish until things return to normal around 6:30 a.m.

At the northernmost tip of Maine, the eclipse is deeper — 78 percent coverage. The times are more favorable, too, since sunrise occurs earlier farther north. The sun will rise at 4:40 a.m., and maximum eclipse isn’t until about 5:39 a.m.

Buffalo will enjoy 78 percent coverage of the sun, with sunrise at 5:36 a.m. and maximum eclipse virtually simultaneously.

Total lunar eclipse casts red hues over ‘super flower blood moon’ in Western U.S.

Why isn’t it a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon is sufficiently close to earth that it can entirely block out sunlight. Though the moon is about 400 times closer than the sun, the sun is 400 times wider; that gives them both roughly the same apparent size in our sky.

It was real, and it was spectacular. The 2019 total solar eclipse illuminated the joys of life.

However, the moon’s 29.5 day orbit is elliptical, meaning its distance from Earth varies. When the moon is near apogee, or the farthest point from Earth in its orbit, it appears extra small. It’s the opposite of a supermoon, a pop-culture name given to full moons that appear larger when the moon is at perigee — or closest to earth.

Apogee will occur on Monday night, just two and a half days before the moon passes between the Earth and the sun. As a result, its apparent size will be too diminutive to cover the solar disk. Even when it’s directly in front of the sun, only about 89.1 percent of the disk will be covered — leaving a ring of sunlight.

Instead of totality, “annularity” is what you get, along with a lack of darkness and the need to continue wearing your eclipse glasses.

What it will look like

Even those in the path of annularity in Canada won’t be able to look directly at the sun. Since its edges will still protrude from behind the moon, its intense ultraviolet rays could still cause harm. That’s why eclipse glasses are mandatory for viewing at all times.

The same is true in the Lower 48, where a deep partial eclipse is in the cards. You may notice some crescent-shaped patches of light in the shade of trees, nestled within the gaps in between shadowed leaves. Those tiny spaces act like miniature lenses, projecting the sun’s image on the ground below.

In the path of annularity, those disc-shaped features will fully close off as rings for up to 3 minutes 51 seconds.

There won’t be much of a noticeable reduction in daylight for most places even though much of the sun will be obscured. Things will dim in the path of annularity and along the fringes where upward of 80 percent of the sun is covered.

Who will see it

The vast majority of the swath of annularity in Canada will be inaccessible by vehicle. It’s largely rural tundra that is uninhabited. The only viable option, assuming clouds do not interfere, would be to depart Thunder Bay in Ontario and drive northeast on Highway 11 to one of the small towns east of Lake Nipigon.

These towns will experience annularity in the minutes immediately following sunrise, leading to more spectacular colors and better photography opportunities.

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