‘Ring of Fire’ Solar Eclipse Lets Some See a ‘Devil Horns’ Sunrise
A solar eclipse that's being called the "Ring of Fire" was viewed by people the world over on Thursday morning (June 10). And as a result of the periodic planetary phenomenon, eclipse watchers in some areas might have seen an uncommon crescent-shaped sunrise that looked very much like devil horns.
Talk about a heavy metal eclipse.
A solar eclipse happens when the sun, moon and Earth are all aligned, letting our planet bask in the moon's shadow as it fully or partially blocks the sunlight and creates a visual spectacle for onlookers. When the sun is partially covered, the resulting crescent can resemble bright, fiery horns when the other half goes behind the horizon. Now that's metal.
Andrew Fazekas, a science author and broadcaster known as "The Night Sky Guy," detailed how the eclipse's "devil horns" sunrise can arise in National Geographic.
"Depending on where you live, you may see either a stunning ring of fire known as an annular eclipse or a partial solar eclipse, with a portion of the sun covered by the moon," he explained ahead of the 2021 event. "For many observers in the northeastern United States, the sun will already be partially eclipsed as it appears above the horizon, creating a crescent sunrise."
However, if "local conditions are just right," Fazekas added, "some viewers in areas including New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts may be lucky enough to experience a rare Devil's Horns sunrise. This spooky sight occurs when two ends of the sun's visible crescent poke above the eastern horizon, appearing to float like a pair of fiery curved horns."
The sun's rare devil horns could have potentially been viewed by millions across the globe. But given the weather conditions in some areas on Thursday, as The New York Times pointed out, perhaps less than usual got a chance to see the eclipse overall.
Regardless, Fazekas admitted the difficulty in catching the unusual half-crescent, even given the best conditions.
"Because the eclipse occurs around sunrise," he said, "it's important to scout out a good viewing spot beforehand with easy views of the eastern horizon. The biggest challenge to catching the Devil's Horns effect for city dwellers will be finding a spot that has a totally unobstructed view of the sunrise."