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Solar eclipse visible in Esky Thursday

Daily Press file photo Gladstone resident Sue Royer uses eclipse glasses to safely watch a solar eclipse in Escanaba in August 2017 in this file photo. A partial solar eclipse will be visible at dawn in Escanaba Thursday. Residents are cautioned not to look at the eclipse unless they have proper equipment to view it safely.

ESCANABA — If skies are clear, beginning at 5:53 a.m. EDT Thursday, as the sun rises in Escanaba, a partial solar eclipse will be visible. Because the moon will be just two days past Apogee — the most distant point in its orbit, it will not fully cover the sun as it passes between Earth and our Daystar. This eclipse will be a partial eclipse as viewed from most places in the United States. Therefore,you must use approved solar filters or eclipse glasses like the Delta Astronomical Society distributed for the August 2017 total eclipse to safely view this eclipse.

It is very important that people understand that they MUST use safe solar filters or ANSI approved solar glasses to view ALL phases of this eclipse.

Always check your solar filters or glasses for scratches or tiny pinholes by holding them up to a bright light before you look at the Sun. Don’t use them if damaged.

Beginning at dawn,the moon’s shadow will follow a great arc up across Ontario, over the North Pole and west into Siberia,where the eclipse will end at sunset. Near the centerline of its path across northern Canada, an annular eclipse, also known as a “Ring of Fire” will be visible. In Escanaba, a partial eclipse will already be in progress as the sun rises. It will look like a thin crescent moon through your eclipse glasses. At maximum, 86% of the sun’s disc will be obscured. Good places to view this eclipse would be looking east over Lake Michigan, or over an open farm field. The eclipse will end 51 minutes later, at 6:44 a.m.,as the moon’s limb passes off the solar disc.

The closest place to Escanaba I could find where the “Ring of Fire” will be visible is in the tiny town of MacDiarmid, Ontario, off the Trans-Canada Highway on the south end of Lake Nipigon, north of Thunder Bay. There, Annularity will last some 3 minutes and 20 seconds. That’s still longer than the 2 minutes and 42 seconds of totality I saw in August,2017 outside little Leslie, Missouri, 650 miles southwest of Escanaba.

You can see the eclipse live,no matter the weather, by logging on to: www.Space.com. For more information on the eclipse visit: www.EclipseWise.com. Fred Espenak, who hosts the site is a retired NASA astrophysicist; the recognized authority on lunar and solar eclipses. EclipseWise has links to information on upcoming eclipses, and an animated map of the track of this eclipse. A Google Map feature can help you find a place to see the upcoming annular eclipse across the U.S. southwest in 2023, or the total eclipse through the central U.S. in April 2024. Also search: www.TheGreatAmericanEclipse.com where you will find detailed information on viewing this and upcoming eclipses, including maps, times,and percent of the sun obscured for any place in North America and Europe.

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Dan Young is a member of the Delta Astronomical Society

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