NASA has just posted its monthly update (above) highlighting upcoming treats for sky watchers. Top of the list is a solar eclipse, though you may want to check out Scorpius and its blazing red star, too.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between Earth and the sun, obscuring Earthlings’ view of our nearest star. While the event taking place on Thursday, June 10, will be a partial eclipse, where a portion of the sun will remain visible, it still promises to be an amazing spectacle for those lucky enough to witness it.
First thing to note — June’s solar eclipse will be visible to a greater or lesser degree to folks in the northeast of the U.S., eastern Canada, and northern Europe.
“For U.S. viewers, this is a sunrise event, with the moon already appearing to have taken a bite out of the sun as it’s rising,” NASA says in its description of the approaching solar eclipse. For those in northern Europe, the eclipse will be viewable around lunchtime.
Those farther to the north and east of the U.S. and Canada will see the moon obscuring a greater portion of the sun, with folks in parts of Canada and Greenland able to witness the extraordinary sight known as the “ring of fire,” where the sun appears around the edge of the moon.
Note: When viewing the solar eclipse, it’s absolutely vital that you use proper protection for your eyes. Check out NASA’s eclipse safety guide to find out how you can enjoy the solar eclipse without risk of injury.
If you’re outside of the eclipse zone, here’s how you can watch it online.
This month is also the best time to look for a grouping of stars known as Scorpius.
“This grouping of stars has been thought of as having the shape of a scorpion going back to ancient times in the Mediterranean and Middle East,” NASA says. “In the Greek myth, the scorpion’s deadly sting brought down the great hunter Orion, and that’s why — the story goes — we find them on opposite sides of the sky today.”
Folks in the northern hemisphere will see the entirety of the scorpion as it rises during the first few hours after dark. A good way to locate Scorpius is to scan the southern horizon for Antares, the bright red, beaconlike star that forms, in NASA’s words, the scorpion’s “blazing heart.”
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