It wasn’t quite as dramatic as the 2017 event that blacked out nearly all of the sun in the Summer of 2017, but the partial eclipse that occurred over North America early in the morning of June 10 was extraordinary in its own way.
Appearing just as the sun was rising amid the red, pink, and orange colors of the dawn, the crescent of the sun appeared to millions of early risers who were fortunate enough to witness the astronomical spectacle.
The ring of fire that resulted in the early-morning partial eclipse glowed throughout Eastern skies as the moon moved along a path that blocked most of the sun.
The moon is now not quite large enough to block the orb of the sun, according to Amie Gallagher, the director of the planetarium at Raritan Valley Community College in Somerset County New Jersey, in an interview with the news website nj.com.
What Americans and Canadians were fortunate enough to see this morning was what astronomers call an annular solar eclipse, with the moon a little farther away from the Earth than it would have to be to produce a full blockage of the sun.
Solar eclipse especially lovely in colors of dawn
This seemingly less than spectacular event actually resulted in a very special glow that could occur only during dawn or sunset, when the sun produces its orangey-red glow as it appears to us through the atmosphere at the horizon.
A dramatic crescent then formed before onlookers who had gathered in eclipse viewing areas all around the continent.
Eye protection was still needed, however, even though this was not the type of total eclipse that people may have witnessed in the past, since the concentration of the sun’s rays during the partial eclipse was still more than the human eye could withstand safely.
Astronomy experts cautioned everyone who was present at the Thursday morning event to wear appropriate eye protection — just as they had during the Great American Solar Eclipse in 2017 and all other solar eclipses.
AccuWeather warned the public that “Looking at the sun without a specially-made solar filter can lead to permanent eye damage.”
Chris Bakley, an astronomy photographer from Cape May County in New Jersey, agreed that special measures are always prudent even in the case of a partial eclipse.
“Be careful not to get lost in the incredible sight. We tend to view sunrises in awe without the sun being eclipsed, so be careful not to look on for too long,” he said. “My recommendation is to use DIY eclipse viewers as well as your cell phone to view it safely at sunrise. If you still have any eclipse glasses from 2017, they will work as well.”
In the Northeast, the June 10 solar eclipse began at 4:38 a.m. when the moon began moving in front of the sun (which didn’t itself rise until 5:24 a.m.), according to TimeAndDate.com. The eclipse was completed, with the moon’s shadow moving fully past the sun, by 6:30 a.m.
There were high clouds over much of the Northeast but there was just enough visibility to spy the sun as it peeked through the reddish streaks of the dawn near the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. where NASA photographer Bill Ingalls snapped an amazing shot of the sun’s crescent.
Best views from Canada
The astronomy experts at Space.com said that the June 10 solar eclipse was visible in most northern and eastern sections of North America, but Canadian citizens were treated to the best and longest view of the partial eclipse this morning.
“Only for places north of a line running roughly from Churchill, Manitoba, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, will the entire eclipse be visible from start to finish after the sun rises,” the space website noted.
“Elsewhere, depending on where you are, if your sky is clear toward the east-northeast, the rising sun will appear slightly dented, deeply crescent shaped, or even ring shaped.”