See the Best Photos from the 'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse - the First of 2021
This morning's "Ring of Fire" eclipse lit up the dusky sky with a bright red illumination
The first solar eclipse of the year took place Thursday morning just before dawn, with the total eclipse lasting for about 3 minutes, according to Space.com.
The full solar eclipse, nicknamed the "ring of fire," might sound like a figment out of an anime cartoon or a comic book, it's a real scientific event, called an annular eclipse, that creates a beautiful red ring in the sky for a few minutes.
A solar eclipse happens when the moon moves in front of the sun and creates a ring of light around its silhouette and is viewable from Earth. Total eclipses (the occurrence when the moon completely covers the sun) are extremely rare within the United States but do happen approximately every 18 months somewhere on the planet, according to Space.com.
During an eclipse, the moon at its furthest point from Earth. It appears smaller in general, and smaller juxtaposed to the sun. This is the reason why those who are within the shadow's wake will experience an annular rather than a full eclipse - the sun becomes a bright red circle, or annulus, and the moon passes over the sun without fully blocking the solar disk, thus giving an "Ring of Fire" eclipse effect, says Space.com
The Ring of Fire eclipse's path began on the northern shore of Lake Superior and was extremely visible on the Canadian Tundra and in parts of Ontario and Quebec.
In the United States, people in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic had the best view; it ran roughly along the north-eastern coast from Boston, Massachusetts all the way to Savannah, Georgia.
People gathered around 4:00 a.m. in N.Y.C, Atlantic City, Boston, and Philadelphia, in order to watch the moon slowly pass over the sun until becoming the total "Ring of Fire" by about 5:30 a.m. It was over around 6:30 a.m.
Lunar and solar phenomena have gained in popularity and awareness in recent years, which is why it's important to remember that staring at the sun in any compacity is dangerous. For those interested in preparing for the next eclipse, there are special "eclipse glasses" that make viewing and looking at the sun, and obviously viewing eclipses, safer.
According to NASA, the other great solar eclipse of the year is a total eclipse and will take place on Dec. 4, but North America won't be one of the continents that gets to experience the dazzling occurrence- the Antarctic, South Atlantic, and South Africa will get the best view.
There was a lunar eclipse that happened on May 26, but only part of the western half of North America experienced it; there is a partial eclipse that that will happen later in the year that will be viewable across several continents, according to Timeanddate.com