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SC astronomy experts say Thursday's annular eclipse may be most visible from Isle of Palms

Solar Eclipse (copy) (copy)

An annular solar eclipse is seen from Machida, on the outskirts of Tokyo, on May 21, 2012. When the moon passes in front of the sun again on June 10, 2021, the eclipse won't be very visible in South Carolina but will be best seen in the Charleston area from the Isle of Palms beach. File/AP

COLUMBIA — The moon will pass in front of the sun on the morning of June 10, creating an annular eclipse that will be most visible in the Arctic.

Unlike during the total solar eclipse in 2017, the sun will not be completely hidden by the moon, so folks in places like Canada will be able to see a bright “ring of fire” in the sky around sunrise on June 10.

People in South Carolina, who are not in the path of annularity, might only be able to see a sliver of the sun being eclipsed by the moon.

The term "annular" comes from the word "annulus," which is essentially an object resembling a ring.

“It looks like there’s a ring or a halo of light around the disc of the moon, and that’s where that term annular comes from,” said Liz Klimek, the S.C. State Museum’s planetarium manager.

Matthew Whitehouse, observatory manager at the museum, said the eclipse will already be in progress when the sun rises, and it will end soon after the sun comes up.

“Unless you have eclipse glasses and you have this beautiful view of the northeastern sky, you’re really not going to see it,” Whitehouse said.

The best place to possibly see a glimpse of the eclipse in the Charleston area would be along one of the beaches, potentially the Isle of Palms, Whitehouse said.

The annular eclipse, from start to finish, will last for a few hours. Though in many places, including South Carolina, it will be visible for only a few minutes.

On June 10, the sun will rise in Columbia at 6:12 a.m. The maximum eclipse to be seen from that area is at 6:15 a.m., and the whole event will end at 6:23 a.m.

In Charleston, the sun will rise at 6:11 a.m. on June 10. Folks who are lucky could potentially see a little bite of the sun taken up by the moon around 6:14 a.m. The event ends for that area around 6:21 a.m.

It may even be tough to use a telescope to see the event this week because of how low the sun will be here.

Klimek said the only way to view it would be by using a special solar telescope because with any kind of eclipse, people should be careful to protect their eyes.

Those who are planning to go out at sunrise with hopes of seeing the solar event should have eclipse glasses handy even for that short amount of time.

Although South Carolina won’t have the best view of the event, Whitehouse said much cooler eclipse events will be happening in the area in the next few years.

Those who want to watch to annular solar eclipse online on June 10 can view it at timeanddate.com.

Follow Shamira McCray on Twitter @ShamiraTweets.

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