NASA shows the path of the 2021 annular solar eclipse

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Skygazers in certain parts of the world are less than 12 hours away from witnessing a beautiful annular eclipse of the Sun. On Thursday morning, the Moon will pass directly in front of the Sun and almost completely blot out the star. But unlike a total solar eclipse, which makes the Sun vanish for minutes at a time, a thin ring of the solar disc will still highlight the Moon’s edges – the so-called “Ring of Fire”.

The Ring of Fire will only be visible to a very select few places in the polar region, which unfortunately means it won’t be seen from the UK.

But you should still be able to see a partial eclipse, which promises to be just as unforgettable – provided you have appropriate viewing equipment.

Astronomers expect between 20 and 30 percent of the Sun will be hidden during the partial eclipse, depending on your location.

According to Tom Kerss, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Ring of Fire will be predominantly seen over the polar region but the partial eclipse will reach a much wide audience.

The expert explained on his podcast Star Signs: Go Stargazing!: “Partial versions of this eclipse, where annularity is not seen but various amounts of the Sun still appear to be covered, are visible over a much larger area covering the northeastern United States and most of Europe as well as parts of China.

“So potentially hundreds of millions of people could witness it and I expect that tens of millions will.”

Where can you see the Ring of Fire eclipse tomorrow?

According to the US space agency NASA, the eclipse will pass over a narrow strip of northern Canada, parts of northwest Greenland and northern Russia.

Some of the best places to see the eclipse from this narrow path of annularity include Nipigon in Canada, Thule Air Base in Greenland, and Srednekolymsk in Russia.

Here are some of the best places to see the annular eclipse tomorrow:

  • Pickle Lake in Canada
  • Cape Dorset in Canada
  • Savissivik in Greenland
  • Qaanaaq in Greenland
  • Belaya Gora in Russia
  • Chokurdakh in Russia

The first place to see the Moon graze the edges of the Sun will do so at 8.12am UTC tomorrow.

The first place to see the full eclipse begin will do so by about 9.49am UTC.

The annular eclipse will then reach maximum – the moment of most coverage – by about 10.41am UTC.

The last location to see the full eclipse end will do so at 11.33am UTC.

And the last location to see the partial eclipse will do so at 1.11pm UTC.

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Here are some of the best places to see the partial eclipse tomorrow:

  • New York City in the US
  • Toronto in Canada
  • London in the UK
  • Rovaniemi in Finland
  • Nuuk in Greenland
  • Reykjavik in Iceland
  • Xilinji in China
  • Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia

You can click here to find out more about whether the partial eclipse will be visible from your location.

How to watch the solar eclipse live online:

If you’re going to find yourself outside of either eclipse region, you can tune into the embedded video broadcast above.

Weather permitting, the US space agency NASA will provide stunning views of the eclipsed Sun on YouTube.

The stream will start at 10am BST sharp (5am EDT, 9am UTC).

NASA said: “The eclipse will be nearly at maximum (about 90 percent coverage) at sunrise, so viewers can watch the Sun reappear as the Moon moves out of the way.

“This stream will show the partial, not annular, solar eclipse.”

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