The “ring of fire” is a partial solar eclipse that occurs when a new moon is furthest away from Earth in its orbit, so it doesn’t cover the sun completely. Essentially, it’s the opposite of a “supermoon.” The sun will be 99 percent obscured (hence the name), almost like a total solar eclipse.
Unlike other solar eclipses, however, it’s expected to go dark before the “ring of fire” is visible. Experts also anticipate bizarre animal behavior leading up to that moment and some points of light around the moon called Bailey’s beads. This is also a special event because it’s possible people will be able to witness the sun’s outermost atmosphere: the corona, which is usually impossible to see.
The “ring of fire” will be visible at sunrise in the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on Sunday, June 21. Then it will take a narrow path across Africa and Asia, where prepared observers will be able to see the ring for, at most, a full minute.
A “ring of fire” solar eclipse will be visible in North America in June 2021, several weeks after the anticipated “blood moon” total lunar eclipse. Spectators in northern Ontario and northern Quebec will be able to see it at sunrise.
A “ring of fire” can be dangerous and threaten blindness if viewers are not properly equipped with solar eclipse glasses.
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