The moon’s orbit will eclipse the sun Thursday creating a “ring of fire” that will be broadcast live online.
Weather permitting, the annular “ring of fire” solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Australia and the Pacific region. Space.com will broadcast the eclipse live at 5:30 pm EST via the Slooh Space Camera.
“We are fortunate to live in a time when the sun and the moon are very close to the same apparent size in our sky,” wrote Geoff Gaherty for Space.com.
During the annular eclipse the moon will be big enough to cover about 95 percent of the sun, but leave a “ring of fire” around the edges.
"Here are the two most important and influential celestial bodies, so far as life on Earth is concerned, and on that day we can actually watch their clockwork motions,” said Bob Berman, contributing editor and monthly columnist for “Astronomy Magazine,” in a statement. “We observe firsthand as the Moon orbits around us at 2,250 miles per hour, showing off its speed as it centrally crosses the disk of the sun. It's pretty dramatic."
Berman will commentate on the Slooh broadcast.
"The eclipse in Australia begins shortly after sunrise and makes its way over the Pacific Ocean," Slooh officials said in a statement. "Because the moon is very nearly at a point farthest from Earth, known as apogee, it appears too small to fully cover the sun, leaving a thin ring of sunlight or 'annulus' — known as the 'Ring of Fire.'"
Astronomers are reportedly more excited about total eclipses than the annual eclipse. During a total eclipse you can see the outer solar atmosphere.
Gaherty warns that most people viewing the annular eclipse will see a partial eclipse – the most dangerous kind of eclipse to view without special protection for your eyes. Viewers should use approved solar filters or use a large cardboard box made into a pinhole camera. Do not look directly at the sun.