On Thursday morning, the North Pole, as well as parts of Canada and the Russian Far East, experience the spectacle of an unusual annular solar eclipse at dawn, the first of two polar eclipses that will occur this year and that will create the so-called “ ring of Fire”.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth, blocking sunlight and casting the lunar shadow on the Earth’s surface. In some cases, when the distance between the Earth and the Moon is adequate, the terrestrial satellite completely covers the circumference of our star, causing a total solar eclipse.
But in the case of Thursday’s eclipse, the Moon is in a moment of its orbit that keeps it further away from the Earth than normal, which will cause the satellite not to completely cover the solar surface and to produce the so-called spectacle of “ ring of fire ”, which will be visible at some points along the path of the phenomenon.
Around the silhouette of the Moon, in places like areas of the Canadian Arctic, you can see the outer edge of the Sun for what is called an annular solar eclipse, an unusual sight that was last visible from Canada in 1994. In the case of Thursday’s eclipse, the event will occur at sunrise, which is even rarer. In Iqaluit, the capital of the Canadian territory of Nunavut, in the Arctic, the eclipse will begin at 5.06 local time (9.06 GMT) and will reach its maximum splendor at 6.06 (10.06 GMT).
On Thursday, the sunrise in Iqaluit will occur at 2.18 in the morning (6.18 GMT), so the inhabitants of the Arctic city will have no problem observing the eclipse in the early morning.
Iqaluit will also be the Canadian population where best to witness this eclipse since from that point, the Moon will cover 89% of the solar surface, according to data provided by the Canadian Space Agency, which will allow to observe the spectacular “ring of fire”.
In Toronto, the largest city in Canada and located 2,330 kilometers southwest of Iqaluit, the eclipse will begin just before sunrise, so the onset of the phenomenon will not be visible, and will reach its maximum point five minutes after the departure of the Sun, at 5.40 local time (9.40 GMT) At that time, from Toronto the Moon will cover 80% of the solar surface and the eclipse will only allow to see a small lower part of the Sun, which will create an image similar to horns or a smile.
The trajectory of the eclipse will begin in the southern part of the province of Ontario (Canada) and will continue northeast towards Iqaluit, will touch the extreme northwest of the island of Greenland, will cross the Arctic Ocean and will continue from there towards the extreme east Siberia already turned into a sunset eclipse. In parts of Europe, the eclipse will be seen partially around noon.
In large Canadian cities such as Toronto or Ottawa, where the eclipse will also cover 80% of the Sun, the main problem in observing the eclipse will be the weather conditions and finding a place without obstacles that allows observing the horizon where the star will rise. In places like Iqaluit, where the buildings are low and there are no natural obstacles like mountains blocking the view of the horizon, the image will be spectacular.
As with all eclipses, experts warn that looking directly at the conjunction of celestial bodies during the alignment process is dangerous because the sun’s rays can damage vision. And sunglasses are not safe because even the darkest ones let through thousands of times the light considered recommended.
The best way to enjoy the eclipse, if you don’t have a certified solar filter or eclipse viewer, is to pass sunlight through a small hole and project it onto a white surface.
News that is being updated.