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How To Watch the “Ring of Fire” Eclipse This Weekend

This year's summer solstice comes with a show.


Even if you won’t be able to make it to Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice, Mother Nature has you covered. Because this year’s astronomical start of summer coincides with another phenomenon, a so-called “ring of fire” eclipse that’s just as cool as its name suggests.

The first solar eclipse of 2020 will be visible on either June 20, the summer solstice, or June 21, depending on where you’re sky-gazing from. It’s going to be an annular solar eclipse, which happens when the moon is too far away to completely hide the sun, which peeks out from behind it and looks like, you guessed it, a ring of fire.

Alas, the full ring of fire eclipse will only be viewable directly from a narrow strip that runs from the Congo through Ethiopia, the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, northern India, and southern China. Those directly north and south of these areas will be able to make out a partial eclipse, but everyone in the Americas, Europe, Australia, and further-flung areas of Asia and Africa will, unfortunately, be shut out of the show.

Luckily, the Virtual Telescope Project exists, and you can stream the eclipse live, as captured by a series of remote telescopes stations in Pakistan, India, Somalia, the United Arab Emirates, and Ethiopia, starting at 12:30 on Sunday.

The second and final solar eclipse of the year will occur on December 14.