CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A sight not seen for four years will make an appearance in north-central West Virginia Thursday morning as an “Annual Solar Eclipse” comes into view.
What is the difference between an “Annual Solar Eclipse” and a “Total Solar Eclipse”?
A “Total Solar Eclipse” happens when the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow on Earth, fully or partially blocking the Sun’s light in some areas.
An “Annular Solar Eclipse” is a little bit different. According to NASA, the Moon covers the Sun, but it never reaches 100-percent, or full, totality.
Per the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, during an “Annual Solar Eclipse, the Moon is far enough away from Earth that the Moon appears smaller than the Sun in the sky. Since the Moon does not block the entire view of the Sun, it will look like a dark disk on top of a larger, bright disk.”
This, the outer edge of the eclipse still shines brightly. This partial eclipse is often called, “The Ring of Fire.”
When will it be visible?
The “Annular Solar Eclipse” will be visible in West Virginia on the morning of Thursday, June 10, 2021.
To catch it, however, you’ll have to wake up very early.
The maximum eclipse will be visible from the Carolinas to North Dakota before sunrise, so we will be able to see the “Ring of Fire” up close.
The eclipse will be ongoing at sunrise, so those who miss sunrise won’t miss out entirely.
This will be another one for the early birds, according to WVNS Metorologist Liam Healy, with the maximum partial eclipse appearing in West Virginia between 5:47 and 6:09 a.m. EDT. Sunrise in Clarksburg will be at 5:54 a.m. and the sunrise in Morgantown will be at 5:51 a.m.
The maximum eclipse will be seen first in the eastern panhandle near Harpers Ferry and seen last in the southwest, towards Bishop. You can find when and how much of the eclipse will be visible for your town here.
For West Virginia, we’ll see the eclipse max out as low as 21 percent in the extreme southwest of the state near Bishop (McDowell County) and up to 57 percent in the far east of the state near Harpers Ferry.
The next “Total Solar Eclipse” will be on April 8, 2024.