"Ring of Fire" eclipse at dawn

Gregg Chamberlain
EAP
A rare “Ring of Fire” annular eclipse may be visible Thursday at dawn for those able to get up early and who have the proper eye protection to see it.

On Thursday morning, June 10, people in Canada and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere will be able to watch an annular solar eclipse. Also known as the “Ring of Fire” eclipse, an annual eclipse is when the moon intersects in its orbit with the sun and covers all but the outermost edge of the solar disc. This creates what some scientists describe as a “ring of fire” effect to observers.

Watching a solar eclipse can be dangerous unless the person is wearing proper eye protection. Ordinary sunglasses, even the “glare-proof” types sold in stores and online, are not adequate. Anyone who has purchased a set of certified “solar eclipse” glasses may be able to look at the annular eclipse without risk, but first check those glasses for any scratches or holes that may have developed since they were last worn. If there are any flaws, do not use them as there could be a risk of serious damage to the eye.

A “pinhole projector” will allow a person to view a solar eclipse event in safety as long as they follow the correct procedure. Poke a pin-sized hole in a sheet of stiff paper or a card. Stand with your back to the sun and hold the card up so that the light that shines through the pinhole projects either onto the ground in front or on another larger card set up about a metre away from you. A shadow image of the eclipse event will project onto the ground or the card.

In the Ottawa region, the partial eclipse of the sun will begin at 5:15 a.m., Thursday morning, with the full eclipse at 5:40 a.m., and then ending with another partial eclipse at 6:40 a.m.

Check local T.V. listings for any stations that plan to broadcast the eclipse event for safe viewing.