Did you see the solar eclipse? A strange partial solar eclipse for many in North America and Europe – and a rare “ring of light” for some in Canada, Greenland and Siberia – proved to be a dramatic spectacle, professionally captured by photographers around the world.
When the moon looked like the “Death Star” taking a bite out of the sun, it was definitely the highlight of the summer for the stargazers.
Here are the best eclipse images for your enjoyment along with an overview of exactly what happened, where and when the next eclipse is:
The highlight of the event came from photographers located within a “ring-shaped path” up to 327 miles wide that stretched from Canada to Siberia in Russia, from where it was possible to see an “annular” or annular solar eclipse.
It was visible at sunrise just north of Lake Superior in Canada and at sunset near Seymchan in Siberia. From this path, about 89% of the sun was blocked for a maximum of 3 minutes and 51 seconds.
Between these two extremes, the “ring of light” crossed northern Greenland and also the North Pole. Thus, it became the only solar eclipse of the 21st century to do so. It was therefore a solar eclipse whose shadow over Earth first traveled north over Baffin Island in Canada and Qaanaaq in Greenland and then south into Siberia.
Travel restrictions meant that it was almost impossible for many to travel to see the rare “ring of light”, although there was some consolation for those in northeastern U.S. states from which it was possible to see a rare “crescent sunrise” that was about 70- 75% overshadowed.
Although observers wearing sunglasses had to find positions that offered a clear view of the eastern horizon, it was possible from a line that ran from the northeast corner of North Dakota southeast to the South Carolina-Georgia border to see in at least some of the phenomenon.
Northeast of this line, a partially eclipsed sun was seen slightly higher in the sky. Early voyages stood on beaches on the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to Maine to try to catch a glimpse of a solar eclipse or even a “crescent sunrise.”
A great view was brought from Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and streamed live on YouTube by the Solar Eclipse Task Force. NASA Video also streamed some incredible pictures of the crescent sunrise in USA just like TimeAndDate.com from Sudbury, Canada.
Those in New Jersey and New York no doubt had an even stranger vision. The moment the Sun rose, darkened, in the horizon it was possible to see two limbs of the Sun – the so-called “red devil horned” eclipse – protrude above the horizon.
The Empire State Building in Manhattan hosted an exclusive eclipse event for 25 socially distant guests on the 86th-floor observation deck.
Elsewhere in the world, it was possible to see far less partial solar eclipses later in the day local time.
In Reykjavik, Iceland, an eclipse of 60% was observed and in Tromsø, Norway 50%, while 20% of the sun in London, England was covered in the middle of the morning. Paris and Berlin both experienced a 13% eclipse, Amsterdam 18%, Brussels 15% and Madrid 5%, with the border crossing the Mediterranean south of Spain but north of Rome, Italy.
Moscow experienced a 15% partial solar eclipse with cover increasingly further west towards Siberia, where the “ring of light” could be seen. Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and northwestern China also experienced small partial solar eclipses.
An annular solar eclipse is caused by a apogee New Moon, which is when the Moon is furthest from Earth in its monthly orbit. When it was at its lowest possible, the new moon on June 10, 2021 did not completely cover the sun, with the moon’s cone-like shadow not quite reaching the earth’s surface.
This is in stark contrast to a total solar eclipse, where those who stand in a miles of ‘totality road’ experience the entire Sun blocked by the New Moon and see the naked eye from its deep umbrella shadow for a few minutes
By chance, the sun was also close to its smallest apparent size for the year. Our star is by aphelion on July 5, 2021, the point on the Earth’s slightly elliptical orbit that is furthest away from the sun.
When is the next annular solar eclipse? On October 14, 2023, a ‘ring of fire’ lasting 5 minutes and 17 seconds will cross the American Southwest via some stunning national parks in Orgeon, Utah Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico (such as Bryce Canyon, Buer and Canyonlands).
It will also cross Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Brazil.
I wish you clear skies and big eyes.