A “Ring of Fire” Solar Eclipse Is Happening This Week — Here’s What You Need To Know

published Jun 8, 2021
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"Ring of fire" solar eclipse
Credit: Sorin Furcoi/Getty Images

Something huge is happening in the sky this week — but don’t look directly at it, if you can help it. This week, the new moon will pass in front of the sun, causing the first solar eclipse of 2021 that looks a little something like a ring of fire.

On Thursday, June 10, the new moon will block out part of the sun that creates the solar eclipse, according to EarthSky. Since the moon is just a bit too far away from Earth to completely block out the sun, a ring of sunlight will still be visible around the silhouetted moon, thus creating the titular ring of fire effect.

Scientifically called “annular eclipse,” the astronomical event will last about 100 minutes, with the “ring of fire” effect lasting a max of 3 minutes and 51 seconds from wherever you’re viewing it. It’ll start at sunrise above Ontario, Canada and then travel northward, with the greatest eclipse happening above Greenland. It’ll then pass over the North Pole, eventually setting above northeastern Siberia. 

If you’re located in the Northeast or the Upper Midwest regions of the U.S., you’ll most likely see a partial eclipse around sunrise, though the “ring of fire” effect will only be visible to those directly in the eclipse’s path. To find out what time the ring of sunlight will be taking place in your area, check out this Solar Eclipse Circumstances Calculator.

Even though this will be a cool sight to see, do not look directly at the eclipse, as this could cause serious eye damage. Instead, wear the appropriate eye protection like commercial eclipse glasses (you may have a pair left over from the 2017 solar eclipse). Or, make yourself a pinhole camera to see the eclipse’s shadow.