06 June 2011
Posted in Our Planet, Our Universe
On June 1, this year’s second partial solar eclipse overcame the midnight sky over the Arctic Circle. Also visible from parts of Alaska and Canada, the eclipse began at sunrise in Siberia and northern China at 19:25 UT, ending about 3.5 hours later north of Newfoundland in the Atlantic Ocean. Another partial solar eclipse is set to grace a small area in the Antarctic Ocean on July 1. A fourth and final partial solar eclipse will also occur November 25 over the southern land of midnight sun.
According to dictionary.com, solar eclipses are the obscuration of the light of the sun by the intervention of the moon between it and a point on the earth. These are beautiful astronomical phenomena, but can be dangerous to look at directly without proper eye protection. But, how can a solar eclipse be seen at midnight you ask? After all, at night time wouldn’t it be a lunar eclipse? Usually it would, but because of the location of the eclipse, in the Arctic Circle, during the time of the year, the sun is visible even at midnight, making a solar eclipse at midnight possible. Just another of nature’s beautiful oddities!