A “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse is happening June 20-21, 2020. Unfortunately, only a small part of the world will get to see the eclipse tonight and that doesn’t include the United States unless you’re watching online. Read on to learn where you can see a map of the eclipse’s path and what time you should start watching for it if you plan to watch online.
Here Are the Eclipse Maps & Path for Tonight
NASA has provided a map of the June 20-21 eclipse’s path here.
NASA notes: “You MUST be somewhere within the central path (between the blue lines) to see the annular phase of the eclipse. The eclipse is longest on the central line (red). The yellow lines crossing the path indicate the time and position of maximum eclipse at 10-minute intervals.”
You can see a screenshot of NASA’s map below. Note that NASA has said the map is for development purposes only. The full interactive map can be viewed here. As you can see, the eclipse won’t be visible in the United States.
NASA also notes about the map above:
The green marker labeled GE is the point of Greatest Eclipse. The magenta marker labeled GD is the point of Greatest Duration. This is the location where the annular eclipse lasts the longest along the entire path. In this case, the Greatest Duration is 01m22.4s . This prediction does not take into account the mountains and valleys along the edge of the Moon. For the sake of speed and simplicity, the effects of the lunar limb profile are NOT used in the predictions and map presented on this page.
According to NASA, the greatest duration for the eclipse will be just 1 minute and 22 seconds long.
You can also see a GIF of the eclipse’s path in the tweet below.
Catch a Solstice 'Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse Over Africa and Asia This Weekend – Our latest post for @universetoday with safe viewing tips, maps, webcasts and more:https://t.co/Qz1mnQtssQ pic.twitter.com/fSVk6NilMz
— Dave 'Indoor Cat' Dickinson (@Astroguyz) June 18, 2020
You can see another map of where the June annular solar eclipse will be visible at Time and Date here. The eclipse will not be visible in the United States.
What Time Can You Watch the Eclipse Online?
If you’re wanting to watch the solar eclipse in the United States, the timing will require you to start tuning into a live stream online late tonight on June 20 into the early hours of June 21. For example, the Virtual Telescope Project begins its coverage at 10:30 p.m. Pacific on Saturday night June 20 (which is 12:30 a.m. Central on June 21 and 1:30 a.m. Eastern on June 21.)
You can watch the Virtual Telescope Project’s live stream below.
Technically, the solar eclipse begins at 12:47 a.m. Eastern (11:47 p.m. Central), CNN reported. The eclipse peaks at about 2:40 a.m. Eastern (1:40 a.m. Central) and ends around 4:32 a.m. Eastern (3:32 a.m. Central.) Remember — these times are for online viewing since you can’t see the eclipse in the United States.
The moon is passing over the sun, creating a partial eclipse that looks like a “ring of fire” around the moon for just a little over a minute. An annular eclipse requires that the moon be in its first lunar phase and appearing smaller in the sky than typical, so it can’t fully block the sun, CBS News reported.
This is a rare and beautiful event. You’ll certainly want to watch online tonight and into the early morning if you can.
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