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Solar Eclipse 2021 Live: Where and when to watch ‘Ring of Fire’

Waking up to an eclipse.

Every few years or so somewhere on Earth, the orbits of our planet, the sun, and the moon cause them to pose as billiard balls on a velvet space table. Seeing worlds disappear behind each other in an eclipse can make you cry or scream. But getting to that point often requires hard work and maybe even a little luck.

It turned out to be just as true for Thursday’s eclipse as it has been since humans began chasing these celestial events.

Just after sunrise over the eastern half of North America, the sun was almost completely obliterated by the moon for a few dawn hours in an annular solar eclipse.

During such an eclipse, the black silhouette of the moon – too far from the earth to completely cover the sun – will be surrounded by a thin ring of our home star’s surface or photosphere. Many people know this as a “fire”, but few get the full effect.

The eclipse started after sunrise north of Lake Superior and began crossing remote regions of Canada, heading into Greenland and the Arctic Ocean before crossing the North Pole. Its course then heads south before ending in parts of the Russian Far East.

Yet some lucky souls will experience this cosmic geometry, and a few were even fearless and well-organized enough to book flights to the zone of maximum darkness. Many more of us will experience a partial solar eclipse if we wake up early to clear enough skies.

– Dennis Overbye

Beg the clouds to part.

Clouds hung on the horizon of Manhattan at sunrise, but they did not disturb the enthusiasm of about 25 guests who had begun arriving at the Empire State Building at noon. 4:30 Thursday.

It was dark and windy as visitors scattered across the observation deck on the 86th floor 1,050 meters above the city center, adjusting camera lenses and perfecting positions as they waited for the sun to appear.

As the sky began to brighten and the clouds turned to shades of fuchsia-pink. Event attendees who had paid $ 114.81 each to be there could be overheard begging the skyline to clean up so there would be a better view.

Everyone’s eyes were trained on a piece of horizon between two other iconic skyscrapers – the MetLife building and the Chrysler building.

Finally the sun rose and the eclipse was visible – if a little dangerous – through the cloud cover.

“You could hear the whole audience reacting at the first sighting of the sun,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, president of the Empire State Building Observatory. “Everyone was gasping and it was absolutely magical.”

While some walked vertically in New York, others left the city in hopes of gaining a better view of the eclipse.

Early Wednesday, Mike Kentrianakis, a lifelong eclipse hunter, arrived at an inn, Greece, NY, near the shores of Lake Ontario. He had originally helped organize an event for an eclipse clock on Randalls Island in New York City. But clouds in the forecast motivated him to drive a seven-hour drive in search of a fairer sky upstate.

At sunrise on Thursday, he planned to watch the tips of the shrouded sun appear over Lake Ontario.

“Like the devil’s horn.” Mr. Kentrianakis said. “They can even wiggle up like a snake.”

– Claire Fahy & Sabrina Imbler

How can I see the eclipse?

The fire will be visible over a narrow band in the northernmost latitudes, starting near Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada at sunrise or noon. 05.55 Eastern time. It then crosses Greenland, the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole and ends in Siberia at sunset or at 07.29 Eastern time.

Outside the strip, observers will see a crescent or a partial solar eclipse. The closer they are to the center line, the more of the sun will be gone.

In the metropolitan area of ​​New York, Mr. Kentrianakis, who was Eclipse project manager for the American Astronomical Society during the great eclipse of 2017, the sun was about two-thirds covered when it rose at. 05:25 Eastern time and reached a maximum haze of almost 73 percent at

Can I see the eclipse online?

There are a number of possibilities to see a stream of eclipse, one of which is embedded above.

NASA begins its video coverage on YouTube at. 5 Eastern time, although the agency says the view will be dark until 6 p.m. 05.47

Other sites, including Timeanddate.com and Virtual Telescope, will also provide streams from a variety of locations, also starting at 6 p.m.

Is it safe to look at a partial solar eclipse or an annular one?

No. Unless you have special goggles, it is never a good idea to look directly at the sun, even if it is partially or ring-darkened.

Exposure to intense light from the sun during an eclipse can cause damage to your retinas that may not heal. Such damage can lead to permanent vision loss depending on how much exposure you experience.

To stay safe, wear sunglasses while watching the eclipse. Not sunglasses – eclipse glasses, like the ones you may have pushed in a drawer after the “Great American Eclipse” in 2017.

But if you can’t get glasses or other filtering viewers in time for Thursday’s eclipse, there are other things you can do, like making a pinhole projector at home with cardboard or a sheet of paper. Here are some instructions.

If you want to be more prepared the next time there is a solar eclipse near you, here is a list of reputable suppliers from the American Astronomical Society.

‘Something we can share’ in Canada.

The rise to annularity in Canada traveled through many places that would have been complicated to visit in normal times. Covid-19 restrictions made it even more difficult, and large groups did not advise traveling and gathering in Ontario and Quebec.

“We just encourage people to safely see it as individuals and in their social bubbles,” and stay at home or in a safe place, said Mike Reid, public outreach coordinator for the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto.

While these demands are a stark contrast to the situation in 2017, as large crowds gathered across North America to see the total solar eclipse, said Dr. Reid that there was a silver lining: The pandemic got the institute and colleagues in Discover the Universe, an astronomy training program based in Quebec to send 20,000 eclipse pointers to people on and around the eclipse path, including in Nunavut, a Canadian area whose population is primarily inuit.

“Because they are in quite remote places, we wanted to make sure they had the material to observe it,” said Julie Bolduc-Duval, CEO of Discover the Universe.

Dr. Reid added: “We are in circumstances in this pandemic where everyone is forced to stay home, but it actually helped bring everyone together on this one thing.”

Sudbury, Ontario, is off the trail of the ring, but still experienced a solar eclipse of 85 percent. Olathe MacIntyre, staff scientist at Space Place and Planetarium at Science North, a museum there, planned to contribute to a livestream of the eclipse Thursday.

“It’s something we can share,” said Dr. MacIntyre.

– Becky Ferreira

Preparation for the eclipse in Greenland and Russia.

Pat Smith works in Greenland for Polar Field Services, a company that has entered into a contract with the National Science Foundation, which helps researchers and others plan expeditions in distant parts of the Arctic. Mr. Smith plans to see the eclipse at a location near Thule Air Base, the northernmost U.S. military base, located about 700 miles from the Arctic Circle.

The site, North Mountain, is within the annular eclipse that will last for nearly four minutes there, and visibility is expected to be clear. Mr. Smith planned to take photographs during the event.

In Russia, the eclipse will only be visible in some of the country’s most remote regions to the east closer to Alaska than to Moscow.

Nevertheless, the Moscow Planetarium plans to set up telescopes that will allow residents of the capital to see the event, even though the sun there is expected to be only obscured by about 15 percent.

The Planetarium of Novosibirsk, the most populous city in Siberia, will also host a tour. A local news site in the city reminded residents to protect their eyes if they were looking at the sun.

– Becky Ferreira and Alina Lobzina

Boarding: Eclipse Air.

Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer at Williams College, has been pursuing eclipses around the world and did not plan to miss this one.

He, his wife, Naomi, and another 30 people are booked on a three-hour Delta flight out of Minneapolis into the dark and back. The tour is sponsored by Sky and Telescope magazine and led by Kelly Beatty, a senior editor of the magazine.

The seats on the plane went up to $ 3,100 according to a price list.

In addition to checking out a new camera, Dr. Pasachoff, he will practice on a similar eclipse flight on December 4 out of Punta Arenas, Chile to see a total solar eclipse over Antarctica.

“The event will also be nostalgic,” said Dr. Pasachoff. “Because I saw my first solar eclipse” – in total – “at sunrise from a plane high off the coast of Massachusetts when I was a beginner at Harvard 61 years ago.”

– Dennis Overbye

How rare is this type of eclipse?

Ring eclipses are not so unusual. A “ring of fire” was shown in the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia in December 2019.

An interesting feature of this eclipse is that it moves north and crosses the North Pole before heading south. That the eclipse takes place so far north is explained by its occurrence near the summer solstice, when the northern half of the planet is close to its most extreme slope toward the sun.

The last time a crescent eclipse occurred in New York was in 1875, Mr. Kentrianakis. “And they, like us, complained about getting up so early,” he said.

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