Stunning ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse happens this weekend, here’s how to watch

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Stargazers in the Eastern Hemisphere will be treated to a solar eclipse this weekend.

You won’t be able to watch it in person in the U.S., but it will stream live.

This is an annular eclipse, which is very similar to total eclipses in that the moon passes directly in front of the sun. However, the moon is further away, meaning it doesn’t block out the sun as completely, leaving a brighter ring visible around its edges.

The eclipse will begin at 11:47 p.m. CT on June 20 and cross a skinny path that starts at sunrise in Africa and moves across to China before ending at sunset over the Pacific Ocean. It will peak at 1:40 a.m. CT June 21.

The eclipse is dangerous to look at, so stargazers hoping to see it should use eclipse glasses or another safe viewing technique.

Here are safety tips to remember, according to the American Astronomical Society:

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if it’s scratched, punctured, torn or otherwise damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter; do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the sun through a camera, a telescope, binoculars or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer; the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars or any other optical device; note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens or other optics.

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