Eclipses, both solar and lunar, will be visible to some of our readers over the next few weeks.
The full moon comes on May 26, and with it comes a lunar eclipse! It won’t be visible from Maryland, but if you’re farther west, keep your eyes on the sky! Read all about it in NASA’s blog post, “May’s Full Moon Comes with Supermoon Eclipse”
Two weeks later, the new moon brings the prospect of a solar eclipse! This won’t be a total eclipse, though, but an annular eclipse – the moon is too far from the Earth at the moment, and thus too small in the sky, to block out the sun completely, so the sun forms a ring around the dark moon. This will still be very bright, and should not be observed directly! But if you have eclipse glasses or a pinhole projection system, you should be able to watch it happen.
This eclipse will mainly be visible in high latitudes, a treat for our Canadian readers in particular. You can see a map of the eclipse track and get tips for viewing at EarthSky’s new post “Annular Solar Eclipse On June 10, 2021” Also see some tips on getting to see a little of it locally in the Washington Post.
You can learn more about the physics of light and shadows in an eclipse with our demonstration E2-23: Umbra and Penumbra, https://lecdem.physics.umd.edu/e/e2/e2-23.html, or with this simulator, https://www.earthspacelab.com/app/eclipse/ .
[updated 6/3 with WP link]