A partial solar eclipse will be visible right at sunrise on Thursday. Depending on where you are located, if your sky is clear toward the horizon, the rising sun will appear slightly dented or ring-shaped. There will only be very few places — in parts of Canada, Greenland, and northern Russia — that will be able to see the ‘Ring of Fire Eclipse.’

Those located within a path averaging about 390 miles wide will be able to witness the "ring of fire" solar eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between Earth and the sun, and the moon casts a shadow over Earth.

Near the point of the greatest eclipse in the North Pole region, the ‘Ring of Fire’ phase -- when 89% of the sun will be covered by the moon -- will last up to 3 minutes and 51 seconds. Nearer the edge of the path, the duration will be shorter, and the ring will look lopsided, with one side wider than the other.

Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC
Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC

According to space.com; those living to the south and west of a line running roughly from Des Moines down through Savannah, Georgia, the eclipse will end before sunrise, so most of the southern and western United States will miss out on seeing the solar show.

Places just to the north of this line will see what looks like a small bite taken out of the bottom part of the sun as it rises. The farther to the north and east one goes, the larger the bite will appear as the sun emerges into view.

Thursday’s sunrise is just before 5:32 in Waterloo and at 5:30 in Cedar Rapids. The best chance to view will happen at 5:35 in the Waterloo area and 5:30 in Cedar Rapids. The partial eclipse will end by 5:43.

It is never safe to look directly at the sun --- even during an eclipse. To view a solar eclipse, you must wear special glasses throughout the entire eclipse. Regular sunglasses are not safe for viewing the Sun.

This will be the last time that at least a partial solar eclipse will be visible in Iowa until 2023.


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