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'Ring Of Fire' Eclipse Will Be Partially Visible In Pittsburgh Skies Early Thursday Morning

Solar Eclipse 2017 Children's Museum sun kid laying down watching with glasses.JPG
Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
A young person watches a solar eclipse in 2017 outside the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.

The “Ring of Fire” eclipse will appear in the skies over Pittsburgh Thursday morning shortly after sunrise. The partial eclipse will be visible in Pittsburgh from 5:49 a.m. until 6:33 a.m., with a maximum eclipse at 5:52 a.m., according to Timeandate.com.

An annular eclipse happens when the moon covers the sun, but is too far from Earth to block it entirely. When the moon centers at the maximum eclipse, the sun will look like it has a “ring of fire” around it. This phenomenon will occur in Greenland and parts of Russia and Canada, but won’t be visible in the U.S., according to Carnegie Science Center’s Buhl Planetarium manager Mike Hennessy.

“Here in Pittsburgh, what we’ll see is more of a crescent sun or a part of it is covered by a dark moon,” Hennessy said.

It’s never safe to look directly into the sun, Hennessy said. People should protect their eyes with eclipse glasses or a homemade pinhole projector. The event can also be watched on NASA ‘s livestream of the eclipse on Youtube. Sunglasses will not protect your eyes, and using binoculars or a telescope would be extremely dangerous, Hennessy said.

“If you want to view it, you want to find someplace flat or near a body of water or somewhere with minimal obstructions like houses or trees that could get in the way,” Hennessy said.

The eclipse kicks off an exciting summer for space lovers, Hennessy said. The Perseid meteor shower will be visible in August, and Jupiter and Saturn will move through the night sky during the second half of the summer.

Margaret Fleming is a newsroom production assistant from Chicago, IL. She's a rising junior studying journalism at Northwestern University and covers sports at the student radio station, WNUR. Margaret can be reached at mfleming@wesa.fm.
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