What a difference a year makes! It was approximately one year ago when countless millions across North America were eagerly awaiting The Great American Solar Eclipse on August 21st. That eclipse was quite extraordinary, with the shadow track sweeping right across the U.S., something that hadn’t happened since 1979. An estimated 20 million people across 14 states crowded into the narrow path of totality that swept from Washington State to South Carolina, all hoping to get a view of the spectacular solar corona —the “crown of the Sun” —that flared into view during the 2½ minutes of total eclipse.
And the Farmers’ Almanac’s contributing astronomer, Joe Rao (who also serves as an Associate Astronomer at New York’s Hayden Planetarium), lead a group on a special eclipse flight sponsored by Alaska Airlines, where he and about a hundred others witnessed totality from 40,000-feet.
Another Solar Eclipse? Yes, But …
On Saturday, August 11th, another eclipse of the Sun takes place, but it’s not likely you’re going to see it, since the region of visibility will be primarily over the Arctic. And the eclipse will not be total, but only a partial, which comparatively speaking is like kissing your sister.
Who Gets To See This Eclipse?
This partial eclipse of the Sun will be visible in varying extent over most of Asia, far northern Europe, and Iceland, Greenland as well as a slice of northern and eastern Canada. Take a look here. In fact, parts of Newfoundland, Labrador, and Quebec (along the lower north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence) might get a very brief glimpse of a tiny “dent” out of the Sun’s upper left edge for some minutes immediately after sunrise. Of course, if you happen to be in that Canadian zone of visibility, do not look directly at the Sun (unless you are using a proper filtration device).
Greatest eclipse—where one could see nearly three-fourths of the Sun hidden—occurs at local sunset from the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug of the Russian Federation, in Far-Northeast Siberia. It is difficult to imagine anyone wanting to actually visit this part of world solely to watch the Moon’s attempt to hide the Sun before it disappears over the icy west-northwest horizon. A stark contrast to the tremendous nationwide interest that was generated by last year’s celestial event!