6 Storm Team Starwatch: Annular solar eclipse visible for some this week!


Welcome to the 87th edition of 6 Storm Team Starwatch! This is a blog that will be posted every week that will list events happening in the sky!

Monday, June 7th 2021

Mars as well as the bright stars Pollux and Castor will be visible tonight (Sky & Telescope). They will form a straight line (Sky & Telescope). To see this look low in the WNW after sunset (Sky & Telescope).

Thursday, June 10th 2021

An annular eclipse of the Sun happens this morning (Sky & Telescope). During this eclipse the Moon will be between the Earth and the Sun (Sky & Telescope). This is not a total eclipse because the Moon is near apogee, or the farthest point from Earth in its orbit, resulting in a “ring of fire” during the maximum eclipse (Sky & Telescope). Essentially this means that a ring of the Sun’s light will be visible around the Moon (NASA) and the Sun will appear to have a dark shadow on its surface (NASA).

Here in Knoxville we will be able to see a small piece of the partial eclipse (Sky & Telescope). However, the timing doesn’t align perfectly in East Tennessee so the best view will likely occur as the sun comes up (Sky & Telescope). The main path for this eclipse is from Ontario to Greenland to Russia (Sky & Telescope). To see this best, you will need to look NE along the horizon (Sky & Telescope). If you do plan to look up at the Sun, make sure not to do it for long! You will want to wear your solar eclipse glasses (Sky & Telescope). If you don’t have any, you can also use a pinhole projector to view the eclipse (NASA).

Image Courtesy of Sky & Telescope

Friday, June 11th – Sunday, June 13th 2021

Venus and Mars as well as the bright stars Pollux and Castor will be visible after sunset Friday through Sunday nights (Sky & Telescope). Look WNW to see this (Sky & Telescope). The image below shows what to look for:

Image Courtesy of Sky & Telescope

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