Millions of Americans watched with delight as they witnessed a partial solar eclipse on Thursday morning, with the “spectacular sunrise eclipse” visible from parts of the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Canada.
As The Washington Post noted, this will be the last solar eclipse visible in the Lower 48 until a “ring of fire” eclipse in 2023.
The crescent-shaped sun rising from the ocean on Thursday morning resulted in some unbelievably beautiful photographs, with onlookers posting the scene to social media.
Despite being attacked by bugs, the partial solar eclipse was BEAUTIFUL! This was the first solar eclipse that I’ve ever seen and it definitely lived up to my expectations. pic.twitter.com/WtyTvkhNfQ
— 🚀🔭BrandonB🚀🔭 (@spacebrandonb) June 10, 2021
— John Kraus (@johnkrausphotos) June 10, 2021
— Taylor Warwick (@wxtaylorwarwick) June 10, 2021
According to the BBC, this eclipse was also “seen in parts of Europe and Asia.”
NASA explained, “A solar eclipse happens when the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow on Earth, fully or partially blocking the Sun’s light in some areas.”
“During an annular eclipse, the Moon is far enough away from Earth that the Moon appears smaller than the Sun in the sky,” NASA continued. “Since the Moon does not block the entire view of the Sun, it will look like a dark disk on top of a larger, bright disk. This creates what looks like a ring of fire around the Moon. People in parts of Canada, Greenland, and northern Russia will experience the annular eclipse.”
NASA then explained why some viewers, including those in the United States, would see what is known as a “partial solar eclipse.”
“In some places, viewers won’t get to see this ring around the Moon,” NASA said. “They’ll instead experience a partial solar eclipse. This happens when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are not exactly lined up. The Sun will appear to have a dark shadow on only part of its surface. Viewers in parts of the eastern United States and northern Alaska will see a partial solar eclipse on June 10, along with much of Canada and parts of the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa.”
The full annular eclipse was “mostly visible over Canada, Greenland and Siberia, plus a small sliver of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” according to Space.com, adding that “The next solar eclipse will occur on Dec. 4, but totality will only be visible from Antarctica and nearby ocean.”
“You could hear the entire audience react at the first viewing of the sun,” said Jean-Yves Ghazi, president of the Empire State Building Observatory, as people gathered in Manhattan to witness the eclipse. “Everybody was gasping and it was absolutely magical.”
The New York Times also reported that some people paid up to $3,100 for “a three-hour Delta flight out of Minneapolis into the darkness and back.” The special trip, led and sponsored by Sky and Telescope magazine, allowed passengers to fly “to 39,000 feet … 5,000 feet above the clouds, giving … a lengthy view of the eclipse.”
“We were able to see the eclipsed sun for about a half-hour, with four and a half minutes in which we saw the bright ring around the black silhouette of the moon,” one attendee wrote in an email, according to The New York Times.
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