Don't Miss the "Ring of Fire" Annular Solar Eclipse

Michele Debczak
Masashi Hara/Stringer/iStock via Getty Images
Masashi Hara/Stringer/iStock via Getty Images / Masashi Hara/Stringer/iStock via Getty Images

If you keep up with celestial events, you may already know that there's more than one type of eclipse. North America won't get another total solar eclipse until May 2022, but on June 10, 2021, you can look up to catch a "ring of fire" annular eclipse. Here's what you should know to make sure you don't miss it.

What Is an Annular Eclipse?

Unlike a total solar eclipse, the moon doesn't completely cover the sun during an annular eclipse. When the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, the sun's outer edge remains visible at all times. This results in a dazzling ring of light circling the moon.

When the moon is farther away from Earth, it obscures less of the sun during a solar eclipse. The satellite needs to be relatively close to our planet to create a total solar eclipse like the one we witnessed in North America in 2017.

How to See the Annular Eclipse

The full "ring of fire" effect will only be visible to people in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Nunavut in Canada during the eclipse on June 10. To sky-gazers in southern Canada and the northeastern United States, the edges of the sun won't make a full circle around the moon. Instead, the moon will appear to take a bite out of the sun, turning it into a crescent shape. The full annular eclipse lasts for three minutes and 51 seconds, and it will begin at 5:49 a.m. EDT on Thursday, June 10. The partial solar eclipse will last from 4:12 a.m. to 9:11 a.m. EDT.

Like any solar eclipse, you will need protective glasses to look at the partial or annular solar eclipse directly. Here are more tips for safely viewing an eclipse.