Eclipse Visible Light Not Dark as Expected

Eclipse Visible Light Not Dark as Expected

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I live in a place where we weren't on the path of totality but were in the 90% range. I was expecting it to be a lot darker than it ended up being. What does it mean to be in the 90% range on this map? I was expecting it to block out 90% of the visible light, but while it was noticeably dimmer it wasn't close to what I thought 10% of light would look like.

As seen in this comment, normal daylight is around 100,000 lux, but 10,000 lux is still considered daylight. So, unless you're getting close to 99%, it will still be fairly light outside.

The real reason is that the human eye is not a linear sensor. A 10x decrease in illumination does not produce a 10x reduction in your perception of light, but more like a 2x reduction at most.

So yes, during the 90% phase of a partial eclipse, the level of illumination is massively reduced. You could check it with a device that could measure ambient light, and it would show you the huge decrease. But your eyes tell a different story because they're not built to operate on a linear scale.

To expand on Florin Andrei's answer, it's not just that the human eye is not a linear sensor, although that is definitely an important part of the reason. The eye itself adjusts to the ambient light level by changing pupil size, which will mask overall changes in brightness. In addition, the eye, like most senses, is primarily a relative sensor. Colors are judged relative to neighboring colors, and brightness is judged relative to neighboring brightness. "Neighboring" applies to time as well as space: a sudden change in brightness from 100,000 lux to 10,000 lux would be quite noticeable, but when it happens over an hour it is imperceptible. The final change to totality is quicker, and also substantial enough that you would be able to detect it even if it were slow. When it's dark enough, the color mix is different, shadows disappear, and it's actually harder to see in an absolute way.

Lunar Eclipse to Be Visible at Sunset : Astronomy: Earth’s shadow is expected to be especially dark because of ash in the atmosphere from volcanic eruptions.

Weather and volcanic dust permitting, Southern Californians will be able to see the moon rise partially in Earth’s shadow tonight as the East Coast glimpses the first total lunar eclipse visible in North America since 1989.

When the moon pops above the northeast horizon in Los Angeles at 4:41--three minutes before sunset--a shadow should still be covering its northeastern part.

This partial eclipse will end at 5:30, a few minutes after twilight begins, although the faint penumbral eclipse will be visible until after 6 p.m. The penumbra is the lighter, outer portion of Earth’s shadow.

The eclipse should be plainly visible to the naked eye, although binoculars or telescopes would enhance the effect. The city’s Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills will be open to the public, but a crowd is expected and people are encouraged to arrive early.

Unlike an eclipse of the sun, a lunar eclipse presents no danger to the eyes.

Amateur astronomers will study Earth’s outline on the moon to see if recent volcanic eruptions--the Philippines’ Mt. Pinatubo and Chile’s Mt. Hudson last year and Alaska’s Mt. Spurr in August--will distort its shadow.

In the past, dust and ash pushed into the atmosphere by volcanoes have been blamed for misshapen Earth shadows on the moon.

After a partial lunar eclipse in Canada last June, for instance, an amateur astronomer reported seeing a squared-off shadow on the moon. Sky and Telescope magazine recounted other odd Earth shadows as far back as 1886, each after a major volcanic eruption in which dust is distributed unevenly into the stratosphere.

At the very least, astronomers expect the volcanic dust to make the eclipse darker than normal. Total eclipses ordinarily shade the moon to a dark red disc because the only sunlight to hit it is filtered through and refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere. However, this eclipse is expected to almost blacken the moon because airborne ash and dust should block most sunlight.

Black would be all the more appropriate for a Florida astronomer seeking to name this celestial event the “Shame on You, Columbus” eclipse.

Jack Horkheimer, executive director of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium, wants to use this eclipse to wind up the quincentenary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in North America, an event that critics blame for what has been described by some as the subsequent genocide of American Indians by Europeans.

The eclipse was chosen not only because of its occurrence at the end of the anniversary year, but because Columbus was believed to have used a lunar eclipse to extort food from frightened natives of what is now Jamaica during his fourth visit to the Caribbean in 1504.

Columbus, of course, was not alone in exploiting a fortuitously timed lunar eclipse. Turkish Sultan Mohammed II, for instance, conquered Constantinople in 1453 after an eclipse dispirited the city’s beleaguered defenders. And British Army Lt. Thomas E. Lawrence, “Lawrence of Arabia,” repeated the trick in the famous battle for Aqaba in 1917.

The worst consequence likely to emerge from this evening’s eclipse would be a freeway fender-bender as rush-hour drivers crane their necks to sneak a look at the partially obscured moon through their windshields or in their rear-view mirrors.

Such risks will hardly be worthwhile--North America will experience two more total lunar eclipses in 1993. The first, on June 4, will be the exact opposite of tonight’s event: The midsummer eclipse will only be visible on the West Coast and will occur at dawn instead of dusk.

The second eclipse next year will be plainly visible throughout the nation, directly overhead and in the middle of the night of Nov. 28 and early Nov. 29.

Three lunar eclipses so close in time is unusual. Eclipses usually occur on average every two or three years.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when Earth passes between the moon and the sun and casts a shadow on its natural satellite. The effect is enhanced because it can occur only when the moon is full, or directly opposite the sun as observed on Earth.

Because the sun is so much larger than a planet, Earth casts both an umbra, or full shadow, and a penumbra, or partial shadow.

On the East Coast of Canada and the United States, where the eclipse can be observed in its entirety, Earth’s shadow will appear to move slowly across the moon from west to east.

The Shadow of Things to Come

Weather permitting, Southern Californians will be able to watch the moon rise in partial eclipse tonight. A total eclipse will not be visible here because moonrise will occur too late. We will see only the late, partial phases.

As does a prism, Earth’s stratosphere receives sunlight and divides it into the colors of the visible spectrum. Red is the least distorted color and the only one to exit the atmosphere. In doing so, it reddens the Earth’s shadow and casts a red light on the lunar surface.

Penumbra: Lighter, outer part of Earth’s shadow

Umbra: Dark, inner part of shadow.

Umbra’s diameter: 3,728 miles

* Moonrise will begin at 4:41 p.m.

* The entire moon will be visible around 5 p.m., just above the horizon. For the best viewing, find an unobstructed view to the northeast.

* The eclipse will end around 6:30 p.m.

* Total lunar eclipse: Moon moves completely into the umbra, and may essentially disappear.

* Partial lunar eclipse: Moon is only partially into the umbra.

Binoculars will improve your viewing a telescope will improve it even more.

Scientists will be measuring what effect the June, 1991, eruption of the Philippines’ Mt. Pinatubo is having. Because of the tons of volcanic debris blasted into the upper atmosphere, the moon may appear darker than normal as it passes through the Earth’s penumbra.

If you miss this one, make a note on your calendar: Next year two total lunar eclipses will be visible from Orange County--on June 4 and Nov. 28. After that, you’ll have to wait until 2000 to see a total eclipse.

Sources: Patrick So, Griffith Observatory Astronomy magazine, December 1992 Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky 1992 Information Please Almanac World Book Encyclopedia NASA

Researched by STEVE LOPEZ / Los Angeles Times

Moon Measured (Orange County Edition, A30)

Age: About 4.5 billion years, same as Earth

Distance from Earth: Closest (called its perigee), 221,456 miles farthest (apogee) 252,711

Diameter: About 2,160 miles, roughly the air distance from Anaheim to Washington

Circumference: About 6,790 miles, or about one-fourth of Earth’s

Elapsed rotation: 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes

Elapsed revolution around Earth: 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes

Average revolution speed: 2,300 m.p.h.

Temperature variation: 260 degrees to minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit at the Equator

Surface area: 14.7 million square miles (about four times the United States)

Atmosphere: Little or none no clouds, wind, or rain

Number of craters at least one foot wide: about 30,000 billion

Largest crater: Imbrium Basin, 700 miles wide

Highest mountains: Leibnitz range (about 26,000 feet)

What the moon’s made of: Mostly calcium, iron, magnesium, silicon, titanium and aluminum

Why we only see one side: Because it rotates on its axis in the same time it takes to circle Earth.

Anomaly: The moon is the brightest object in the night sky, but does not emit light.

Another anomaly: Nothing lives on the moon, but some plants on Earth grow better when moon dust is added to their soil

Sources: 1992 Information Please Almanac World Book Encyclopedia National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Lunar Eclipse as an Astronomical Event Essay

The lunar eclipse takes place during the full moon when the earth’s shadow covers the moon’s surface. The shadow prevents the moon from receiving any light from the sun’s rays which are reflected on its surface. More so, when the moon is completely covered by the earth’s shadow, that is, they are in the same line, a total lunar eclipse occurs. The lunar eclipse will only take place when all the three bodies involved in the process of its formation are on a straight line. These bodies are the sun, the earth, and the moon. It is rare for these bodies to be aligned in an ideal straight line due to the differences in their alignment angles and this is the reason why lunar eclipses do not occur monthly.

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The shadows formed on the moon by the earth vary in the intensity of darkness. Thus, the lunar eclipse is clearly visible when the shadow is umbra rather than the penumbra, since it is the darkest of the two shadows formed, although it has a shorter time span. Furthermore, when being viewed such an eclipse does not require protection because it is dimmer than the full moon and also during this time the moon’s color changes to red or copper and thus it can be easily seen.

Total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is fully covered by the earth’s shadow and thus it does not receive any light at all. This total darkness on the moon’s surface resembles the color of blood “thick red” and thus the name blood moon occurred. This color is formed due to the dispersion of light particles in the atmosphere of the earth’s surface. The other colors are blocked and scattered while the red color easily goes through due to its low wavelength making the total eclipse easy to view.

Their blood red or coppery color depend on the amount of particles available in the atmosphere and thus, the more the particles, the darker the red color. However, if the earth’s atmosphere was absent the moon would have been dark and not red. The lunar eclipse accounts to more than a third of all the eclipses formed in the universe. The total eclipse takes place in three phases that are partial, penumbral and total.

Partial lunar eclipse takes place when a small portion of the moon’s surface goes through the dark shadow formed by the earth’s surface (Kasparek 434). These eclipses occur rarely since they cannot be easily seen during the day, but can be observed easily from the night side of the earth’s surface. They present less than a third of all eclipses formed.

The penumbral eclipse occurs during a period when the moon’s surface is slightly covered by an outer shadow formed by the earth. Although some of the sun’s light is reflected on the surface of the moon, this type of eclipse is not clearly visible. It is estimated to form slightly more than a third of all eclipses, but due to the difficulty in visibility they may be more or less visible by a man from the earth. A total penumbral lunar eclipse though rarely happens when the moon lies perfectly in the penumbra of the earth, it comprises about 35% of all eclipses (Kasparek 434).

The period taken by the moon to make a complete circle around the earth’s orbit is approximately one month. In the event of the full moon, the satellite traverses under or over the shadows of the earth and bypasses them completely hence no eclipse can occur. It is important to note that the moon behaves as a satellite to the earth’s surface.

Lunar eclipses are historic events, which do not occur very often. They are named and recorded in many historical accounts and have been tied to occurrences like lost battles and enabled the warriors make remarkable escapes. The phases of lunar eclipses were first given by the Greek Philosopher Anaxagoras around 450 BC.

In 350BC Greek philosopher Aristotle noticed that the round outer shadow of the earth on the moon was a confirmation that the earth was circular in shape. Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian, documented some occurrences of lunar eclipses in his works. During the death of King Herod, Flavius wrote that on the same night there was the moon’s eclipse. This eclipse had been dated March 13, 4 BC. This aids in getting the date of the death of King Herod and also aids to determine the adopted lineage of Jesus.

Furthermore, in the ancient times when exploration of the earth was still taking place, the explorers used the lunar eclipse to establish different locations far away from already occupied lands by triangulating their longitudes. If it happens when the moon is up in the sky from a familiar location, the same eclipse is observed as the moon is soaring up in a different place away from the west and also noticeable as settling in the east. In the midst of all these, the moon’s position could be obtained with the help of the sextant (Kasparek 435). Comparing the moon’s obtained location with its forecasted location at home, a ship could known how far it was from home in longitude. Christopher Columbus used this method during his journeys of discovery.

The Chinese book Zhou- Sho, talked about lunar eclipse. The book was found in 280AD in a grave of a king. Centuries ago before that particular time, the eclipse had occurred.

In 1914-1917, the Ross Sea Party was part of Trans-Antarctic Expedition where some men who tried to cross to Cape Evans were lost. On 8th of May, two men tried to cross over, but a snowstorm occurred. After the snowstorm subsided, the remaining men searched for the way only to notice that the ice was too light and narrow to cross and they realised that they could not locate their colleagues. The full moon would help them since it would be a source of light. The weather though did not go as they wished. On July 15, the weather was perfect and the ice was thick and wide and thus the travellers started their journey only to be shocked when they realised it would soon eclipse. It was only a partial eclipse, so the men were lucky. The eclipse went on for a few hours but they managed to reach their destination.

The native people of Jamaica helped Christopher Columbus on 30 th of July, 1503 when he was helpless by giving him and his members food and shelter. His sailors lied and took away stuff from the natives making them stop providing food for Columbus and his members when six months were over. Columbus had an almanac written by Regiomontanus which spans from 1475-1506 on astronomical tables. Upon reading the book, he observed the lunar eclipse which was coming. He noted expected dates and time of the occurrence. He managed to use this information for his own benefit. On that day he asked to see the cacique and said that his god was not happy with the natives’ treatment of him and his members.

Thus, to ascertain his anger he lied to the villagers that his personal god would darken the moon in an inflamed red colour. This scared the natives, the eclipse did not disappoint since it took place at the exact time as expected. He measured the lunar eclipse with the hourglass and after it the eclipse had disappeared, he told then his god would forgive them (Kasparek 476). When the moon reoccurred later he told them they had been forgiven.

Another lunar eclipse occurred during the Second battle of Syracose. The Athenians were about to go back to their place of residence when the lunar eclipse happened. The priests decided that the Athenians should wait for 27 days, which Syracusans used to their benefit. They pounced on their 86 ships and conquered the Athenians. The Athenians ships were taken to the show where Gylippus took the lives of the crew members and seized 18 stranded ships. The lunar eclipse occured when no one was expecting and this led to the loss of the battle.

What causes VVV-WIT-08 to dim?

That’s not known, but whatever is blocking VVV-WIT-08 is itself surrounded by an opaque disc, which covers the giant star, causing it to disappear and reappear in the sky.

“It’s amazing that we just observed a dark, large and elongated object pass between us and the distant star—and we can only speculate what its origin is,” said co-author Dr. Sergey Koposov from the University of Edinburgh.

It is, however, seen as extremely unlikely that there was a chance alignment with an “unknown dark object” in the foreground. The astronomers’ simulations demonstrated that that would have to be an incredibly unlikely number of dark bodies floating around the Milky Way for that to be the case.

VVV-WIT-08 is likely another star or a planet.

“The challenge now is in figuring out what the hidden companions are, and how they came to be surrounded by discs, despite orbiting so far from the giant star,” said Dr. Leigh Smith from Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy, who led the study. “In doing so, we might learn something new about how these kinds of star systems evolve.”

'Blood Flower' Eclipse Will Be Visible Just Before Sunrise Wednesday

A total lunar eclipse this week promises to be visually stunning.

A lunar eclipse happens when the earth gets between the sun and the moon and creates a shadow that the moon passes through.

Oakleaf High School physics teacher and hobbyist astronomer Tom Webber – WJCT News’ Sky Guy – said this week’s eclipse has a pretty cool name, too: the Super Blood Flower Moon.

“It’s flower because the full moon in May is called the Flower Moon for obvious reasons. April showers May flowers, you know,” he said.

Webber said a super full moon is closer to the Earth, so it looks bigger and a lot brighter. And unlike a solar eclipse that can turn day to night, “The moon doesn't disappear, it becomes a coppery red color. Earth's atmosphere acts like a prism and refracts the red light into our shadow cone and makes the moon turn a blood red, and we all know the old ancient stories and mythologies of people being scared when the moon turned to blood.”

How to watch the annular solar eclipse

Thursday morning, June 10, marks the new moon, which will eclipse the sun in the U.S. sometime between 5:00 and 7:00 a.m. ET, depending on your location. To see it, look to the east.

Space & Astronomy

The narrow path of the eclipse will be completely visible in parts of Canada, Greenland, the Arctic Ocean and Siberia. It will be partially visible for much of the rest of northeastern North America, Greenland, Northern Europe and northern Asia.

From the Washington, D.C. area, the moon will block about 80% of the left side of the sun as they rise together in the east-northeast at 5:42 a.m. The sun will appear as a crescent during this time, NASA says.

"From any one point along this annular solar eclipse path, the middle or annular or 'ring of fire' stage of the eclipse lasts a maximum of 3 minutes 51 seconds," according to EarthSky.

It is essential to wear special solar eclipse glasses to protect your eyes while viewing the celestial phenomenon. Looking directly at the sun is dangerous and can damage your eyes .

This is just one of two solar eclipses in 2021. A total solar eclipse will be visible on December 4.

And don't worry if you miss it &mdash you can just catch up with a livestream instead.

First published on June 1, 2021 / 11:11 AM

© 2021 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sophie Lewis is a social media producer and trending writer for CBS News, focusing on space and climate change.

Observing from the Argentinian Steppe

As expected, the skies were clear over most of the steppe between the Andes and the Atlantic. I had traveled to Piedra del Águila, a small town in the Limay River valley that had the best weather prospects, and was not disappointed.

I moved a little closer to the central line, to enjoy a few more seconds and to avoid the crowds in Piedra del Águila. I set up my equipment near the Pichi Picún Leufú dam, with the Patagonian winds blowing with gale force. I took what little cover I could next to the scarce vegetation. I had carried a small equatorial mount, a Canon T3i camera and a Tamron 18-270 lens. A Lua script running in-camera, via the Magic Lantern operating system available for Canons, would take all of the exposures automatically I only had to sit and wait with mounting anticipation as the oh-so-long partial phase progressed.

Only those who have stood in the umbra of the Moon and experienced a total solar eclipse understand the difference between a 95%-covered eclipse and a total is not 5% — it is 100%!

Only during a total solar eclipse does the Moon completely cover the Sun’s bright surface, known as the photosphere, turning day into night in moments. The sky dims to a dark blue reminiscent of twilight. The planets Venus and Mercury suddenly appeared next to the eclipsed Sun. Jupiter and Saturn, already in their Great Conjunction, appeared a little farther away on the other side. And where the Sun had been just seconds before was the Moon’s dark silhouette, surrounded by the ghostly solar corona, the immense atmosphere of the Sun, combed in petals and filaments by its magnetic field.

Diamond rings shortly before second contact (right) and after third contact (left), Baily’s beads, and several large prominences of the chromosphere were highlights of the eclipse.
G. Abramson

This eclipse looked very different from the one in 2019, which also crossed Chile and Argentina 1,000 miles to the north. The corona was more radially symmetrical, and I could see large prominences all around the limb, distinct and vividly red even to the naked eye. Both phenomena are related to the Sun emerging from its minimum of activity in late 2019. The corona appeared a fiery silver-white, instead of its mother-of-pearl appearance in 2019.

Best Solar Eclipse Photos: See A Spooky ‘Crescent Sunrise’ And ‘Ring Of Fire’ As Moon Bites The Sun

A annular (partial solar) eclipse is seen as the sun rises over Scituate Lighthouse in Scituate, . [+] Massachusetts on June 10, 2021. - Northeast states in the U.S. will see a rare eclipsed sunrise, while in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, this annular eclipse will be seen as a visible thin outer ring of the sun's disk that is not completely covered by the smaller dark disk of the moon, a so-called "ring of fire". (Photo by Joseph Prezioso / AFP) (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Did you see the solar eclipse? A weird-looking partial eclipse of the Sun for many in North America and Europe—and a rare “ring of light” for some in Canada, Greenland and Siberia—proved a dramatic spectacle that was expertly captured by photographers around the world.

With the Moon looking like the “Death Star” taking a bite out of the Sun, it was surely the highlight of the summer for stargazers.

Here are the best eclipse photos for your enjoyment along with a rundown of exactly what happened, where, and when is the next eclipse:

The moonrise eclipses the sunrise as hundreds gathered on the Eastern Beaches of Toronto, some with . [+] homemade eclipse viewers others with high tech cameras and telescopes to view a sunrise eclipse. The morning of the eve of Ontario moving into Stage One of COVID-19 reopening is marked with a solar eclipse as viewed from the Beaches in Toronto. June 10, 2021. Close to 80 percent of the sun was covered by the moon at 5:40 am, about five minutes after sunrise. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Toronto Star via Getty Images

The highlight of the event came from photographers positioned within a “path of annularity” up to 327 miles wide stretching from Canada to Siberia in Russia, from where it was possible to se an “annular” or ring-shaped solar eclipse.

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It was visible at sunrise just north of Lake Superior in Canada and at sunset close to Seymchan in Siberia. From this path about 89% of the Sun was blocked for a maximum of 3 minutes and 51 seconds.

The sun rises next to the Statue of Liberty during an annular eclipse on June 10, 2021 in New York . [+] City. Northeast states in the U.S. saw a rare eclipsed sunrise, while in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, this annular eclipse will be seen as a visible thin outer ring of the sun's disk that is not completely covered by the smaller dark disk of the moon, a so-called "ring of fire". (Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

Between those two extremes the “ring of light” crossed northern Greenland and also the North Pole. In doing so it became the only solar eclipse in the 21st century to do so. It was therefore a solar eclipse whose shadow across Earth first traveled north across Baffin Island in Canada and Qaanaaq in Greenland, then south into Siberia.

A partial solar eclipse rises over the Baltimore skyline, Thursday, June 10, 2021, seen from . [+] Arbutus, Md. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Travel restrictions meant it was virtually impossible for many to travel to see the rare “ring of light,” though there was some consolation for those in northeast U.S. states from where it was possible to see a rare “crescent sunrise” that was around 70-75% eclipsed.

A partial solar eclipse is seen over the Houses of Parliament on June 10, 2021 in London, England. . [+] Viewers in the UK will witness a partial solar eclipse this morning with around a fifth of the Sun's light blocked in London. In other parts of the Northern Hemisphere, this annular eclipse will be seen as a visible thin outer ring of the sun's disk that is not completely covered by the smaller dark disk of the moon, a so-called "ring of fire". (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Although observers using solar eclipse glasses had to find themselves positions that offered clear views of the eastern horizon, it was possible from a line going from the northeast corner of North Dakota southeast to to the South Carolina-Georgia border to see at least some of the phenomenon.

Solar eclipse is seen during early hours of morning in New York, United States on June 10, 2021. . [+] (Photo by Islam Dogru/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Northeast of that line a partially eclipsed Sun was viewed slightly higher in the sky. Early-risers lined the beaches of the Atlantic coast from South Carolina to Maine to try for a glimpse of an eclipse sunrise or even a “crescent sunrise.”

Hamza Qureshi looks towards the skies from Eclipse Road, in east London, during a partial solar . [+] eclipse. Picture date: Thursday June 10, 2021. (Photo by Luciana Guerra/PA Images via Getty Images)

PA Images via Getty Images

A great view was had from Hampton Beach, New Hampshire and streamed live on YouTube by the Solar Eclipse Task Force. NASA Video also streamed some incredible images of the crescent sunrise in the U.S. as did from Sudbury, Canada.

A partial solar eclipse rises behind clouds, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Arbutus, Md. (AP . [+] Photo/Julio Cortez)

Those in New Jersey and New York arguably had an even stranger sight. In the moment that Sun rose, eclipsed, on the horizon it was possible to see two limbs of the Sun—the so-called “red devil horned” eclipse—poking above the horizon.

In this handout image provided by NASA, a partial solar eclipse is seen as the sun rises behind the . [+] Delaware Breakwater Lighthouse on June 10, 2021 in Lewes, Delaware.

The Empire State Building in Manhattan held an exclusive eclipse-viewing event for 25 socially distanced guests on its observation deck on the 86th floor.

Elsewhere in the world it was possible to see far smaller partial solar eclipse later in the day, local time.

In Reykjavik, Iceland a 60% eclipse was observed and in Tromso, Norway 50%, while in London, England 20% of the Sun was covered in mid-morning. Paris and Berlin both saw a 13% eclipse, Amsterdam 18%, Brussels 15% and Madrid 5%, with the limit crossing the Mediterranean south of Spain but north of Rome, Italy.

Moscow saw a 15% partial solar eclipse, with obscuration increasingly the further west towards Siberia, where the “ring of light” was viewable. Kazakhstan, Mongolia and northwestern China also saw small partial solar eclipses.

An annular solar eclipse is caused by an apogee New Moon, which is when the Moon is at its furthest from Earth on its monthly orbit. Since it was at its smallest possible, the New Moon on June 10, 2021 didn’t completely cover the Sun, with the Moon’s cone-like shadow not quite reaching the Earth’s surface.

That’s quite unlike a total solar eclipse, where those standing in a miles-wide ‘path of totality’ experience the entirety of the Sun blocked by the New Moon and watch naked-eye from within its deep umbral shadow for a few minutes

10 June 2021, North Rhine-Westphalia, Cologne: Only a small part of the sun is covered by the moon . [+] during a partial solar eclipse. The picture was taken with a telescope with 2000mm focal length and a Nikon Z6. Photo: Henning Kaiser/dpa (Photo by Henning Kaiser/picture alliance via Getty Images)

dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

By coincidence the Sun was also close to its smallest apparent size for the year. Our star is at aphelion on July 5, 2021, the point of the Earth’s slightly elliptical orbit that is farthest away from the Sun.

Thursday's partial solar eclipse as seen through cloud in Cardiff, Wales where the obscuration . [+] reached 22% as this photo was taken with a smartphone through a telescope.

When is the next “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse? On 14 October, 2023 a ‘ring of fire’ lasting 5 minutes 17 seconds will cross the American southwest via some fabulous national parks in Orgeon, Utah Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico (such as Bryce Canyon, Arches and Canyonlands).

It will also cross Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Columbia and Brazil.

Watch NASA&rsquos &lsquoring of fire&rsquo eclipse here today

Onlookers will be able to catch the &lsquoring of fire&rsquo solar eclipse directly on NASA&rsquos YouTube channel.

The aeronautical organisation will be streaming the entire thing, kicking off at 10am.

To watch the solar eclipse, you can do so here.

The live stream will begin at 5am EDT (10am BST) but will appear dark until sunrise at 5.47am EDT (10.47am BST).


The Royal Museums Greenwich in south London is also hosting a live stream, for the Royal Observatory, which is the traditionally situated location of the prime meridian.

The live stream will begin at 10.05am BST on both Facebook and YouTube.

The Royal Observatory said in a statement: &ldquoOur expert astronomy team will help explain the science of solar eclipses and answer all your space questions.

&ldquoYou will see exactly the same view as our astronomers, with a live telescope feed of the sun from our state-of-the-art Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope.&rdquo

When is the next total solar eclipse?

The next total solar eclipse is on December 14, 2020 in Chile and Argentina. The "path of totality" will bring 2 minutes, 9 seconds of daytime darkness to the Chilean Lake District, including Lake Villarrica and Pucón, an area famed for its lakes and hot springs. Totality will also strike remote Patagonia in Argentina, where favored viewing areas include the area north of Piedra del Águila in Neuquén Province and inland from Las Grutas on Argentina’s east coast.

May 26th Lunar Eclipse to Delight Observers Around the World

Get ready! On May 26th, a total lunar eclipse will delight observers across much of the world. A total lunar eclipse happens when the Sun, Earth, and Moon perfectly line up, and Earth’s dark, inner shadow completely blocks the Sun’s light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. There hasn’t been a total lunar eclipse since January 21, 2019–that’s nearly 2.5 years! According to NASA, lunar eclipses are less frequent than solar eclipses, which happen two to four times per year. Also, total and annular solar eclipses can only be seen along a specific path each lunar eclipse is visible from over half the Earth.

During the eclipse, the Moon will not completely disappear. Some sunlight passing through the Earth’s atmosphere will scatter and refract (or bend) and refocus on the Moon, giving it a dim glow even during totality. The red color of the Moon is the result of only the long-wavelength (red) rays getting through the Earth’s atmosphere. Sort of like projecting all of the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets onto the Moon at once. This eerie appearance has encouraged astonishment and fear in people who had no understanding of what causes an eclipse throughout history. We’ve certainly come a long way in our understanding of astronomical events.

2019 lunar eclipse over Spain

How to Observe the May 26th Lunar Eclipse:

The total phase of this eclipse will not be long-lasting totality will only last for just shy of 15 minutes. However, a partial umbral eclipse that lasts about an hour and a half will precede and follow totality. The Moon will take a little more than three hours to cross the Earth’s dark shadow from start to finish. It will also be a ‘supermoon,’ meaning that the full moon coincides with perigee–the Moon’s closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit. Therefore, it will appear slightly larger against the night sky than other full Moons.

This total eclipse will be centered over the Pacific Ocean, giving those in western North America, southern and far-western South America, New Zealand, Australia, and southeast Asia the best view. Others will be able to observe partial phases before the Moon slips below the horizon.

Lunar eclipses are one of the most accessible celestial events to observe. No special equipment is needed, and people from large cities and remote areas with less light pollution can view them. Just go out, look up, and enjoy! Oh, and try not to get Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” stuck in your head.

Use the table below to see the times for each phase on May 26th in UTC:

You can also use this link to find what time the eclipse will be in your local time zone.

Plan on observing the total lunar eclipse on May 26th? Be sure to share your experience with us on social media by tagging @IDAdarksky and #idadarksky.

To read more recent news from the International Dark-Sky Association, click here .