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'Ring of fire' solar eclipse will occur this weekend. Here's how to watch.

It could be the most spectacular annular eclipse of the decade.

NASA
  • An annular eclipse is a type of solar eclipse where the edge of the Sun remains visible around the Moon.
  • The June 21 annular eclipse will occur when the Moon is nearly at its apogee, the point in the lunar orbit when the Moon is farthest away from Earth.
  • Only some countries will be able to see the eclipse in person, but several organizations plan to livestream the event.

The Moon will briefly block out most of the Sun this weekend, offering people in Asia and Africa a chance to see a "ring of fire" solar eclipse.

The phenomenon is known as an annular eclipse, which is a type of solar eclipse where the edge of the Sun remains visible. (The name derives from the Latin word annulus, which means "little ring.") Annular eclipses occur about once a year, but the eclipse on June 21 will be particularly spectacular because it'll occur when the Moon approaches its apogee, the point in the lunar cycle when the Moon is farthest away from Earth.

Because the Moon will be especially distant from Earth, it won't obscure the whole Sun. Rather, the Moon will obscure roughly 99 percent of the star, allowing a "ring of fire" to appear, in what will be a near-total solar eclipse.

"Annular eclipses are similar to total eclipses in that the moon, Earth and sun are aligned so that the moon moves directly in front of the Sun as viewed from Earth," Alex Young, associate director for science in the heliophysics science division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, told CNN.

"But a total eclipse does not happen, that is the moon does not completely block out the visible disk of the sun because the moon is farther away and so its apparent size in the sky is [slightly] smaller than the sun. This means that a tiny ring of annulus of the solar disk is visible around the moon."

annular eclipse map

timeanddate.com

The annular eclipse may also provide views of the Sun's chromosphere — a pinkish layer of burning hydrogen — and "Baily's beads," a visual effect of solar eclipses where streams of sunlight travel across the moon's rugged topography. The eclipse will begin at 12:47 a.m. ET and will last several hours, but each specific location on Earth will only be able to see it, weather permitting, for about one minute.

Animation of eclipse moving across the globe

The eclipse will only be visible for some parts of Earth, including parts of Central and East Africa, the southern Arabian Peninsula, Oman, Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, Northern India, and South Central China. You won't be able to see the eclipse in person if you live in the Americas, but everyone can livestream it on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. For more information on the eclipse's path and time of visibility, check out timeanddate.com.

In 2021, another "ring of fire" eclipse will occur on June 10, and it'll be visible at sunrise from northern Ontario and northern Quebec.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
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10 of the best new games according to geniuses at Mensa

Kick off your next game night with these Mensa-recommended board and card games.

Photo by Robert Coelho on Unsplash
Gear
  • Mensa members judge an annual competition to determine which games are the best on the market.
  • Hundreds of board, card, and party games are considered each year but only a select few can win.
  • These 10 top games are available to purchase and play right now.
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Creativity: The science behind the madness

Human brains evolved for creativity. We just have to learn how to access it.

Creativity: The science behind the madness | Rainn Wilson, David Eagleman, Scott ...
Videos
  • An all-star cast of Big Thinkers—actors Rainn Wilson and Ethan Hawke; composer Anthony Brandt; neuroscientists David Eagleman, Wendy Suzuki, and Beau Lotto; and psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman—share how they define creativity and explain how our brains uniquely evolved for the phenomenon.
  • According to Eagleman, during evolution there was an increase in space between our brain's input and output that allows information more time to percolate. We also grew a larger prefrontal cortex which "allows us to simulate what ifs, to separate ourselves from our location in space and time and think about possibilities."
  • Scott Barry Kaufman details 3 brain networks involved in creative thinking, and Wendy Suzuki busts the famous left-brain, right-brain myth.

Dinosaur bone? Meteorite? These men's wedding bands are a real break from boredom.

Manly Bands wanted to improve on mens' wedding bands. Mission accomplished.

Sex & Relationships
  • Manly Bands was founded in 2016 to provide better options and customer service in men's wedding bands.
  • Unique materials include antler, dinosaur bones, meteorite, tungsten, and whiskey barrels.
  • The company donates a portion of profits to charity every month.
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Politics & Current Affairs

How #Unity2020 plans to end the two-party system, bring back Andrew Yang

The proposal calls for the American public to draft two candidates to lead the executive branch: one from the center-left, the other from the center-right.

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