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On Thursday, June 10, 2021, we Michiganders will have the stellar opportunity to view a solar eclipse nicknamed the “Ring of Fire”. This will be the last solar eclipse we will be able to see for the next three years! The next eclipse of this type won’t be visible in Michigan until 2024. Thursday’s eclipse is specified as an annular eclipse.

According to NASA, an annular eclipse is when the Moon is far enough away from Earth that the Moon appears smaller than the Sun in the sky. 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. However, not all viewers will see an annular eclipse. Some viewers across the globe, including Michigan, will see what is called a partial eclipse due to their location during the timeframe of the eclipse. A partial eclipse happens when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are not exactly lined up causing the Sun to have a dark shadow only on part of its surface.

Now, when can you see this “ring of fire”? The eclipse will start on Thursday, June 10, 2021, at 5:55 a.m. EDT and will last until 6:37 a.m. EDT. The Moon will be the closest to the center of the Sun for the maximum eclipse at 5:58 a.m. EDT. 

It is never safe to directly look at the sun so make sure you are wearing proper eye protection, such as solar viewing or eclipse glasses while viewing the entire solar eclipse. Solar viewing or eclipse glasses are NOT regular sunglasses; regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing the Sun.

If the weather in your area doesn’t allow you to watch the solar eclipse NASA will be live streaming the solar eclipse on YouTube and on their website. Nasa.gov/live, if the weather permits on their end. The stream will start at 5 a.m. EDT and will remain dark until 5:47 a.m. EDT when sunrise starts.