A burning ring of fire will be seen in the skies of Africa Thursday.
Early in the morning, the moon will align between the star and Earth and block out most of the light, darkening the sky above much of the continent but not quite completely covering the sun. As the moon becomes a silhouette in front of the sun, a glowing ring will remain around it.
Here’s what you need to know.
Where To Watch
For most of Africa, you can simply look up at the sky (with the help of special protection to make sure you keep your eyes safe, more on that later) but everywhere else in the world will have to rely on technology to see the phenomenon.
For instance, this live stream:
There are some other places to stream it. For instance, the folks over at Slooh will be running some video of it. That broadcast will also feature scientists, astronomers and cultural experts who will be able to shed some light on the importance of eclipses in the worlds of science and man.
Another stream can be found here (from a Paris observatory).
When Is It?
If you are in the United States or North America in general, you’ll have to get up mighty early to see it streamed live. The eclipse will begin at about 3 a.m. EDT and that Slooh webcast will start about 15 minutes prior to that.
Where Will People Be Able To See It Naturally?
The path of the eclipse covers virtually all of Africa except some of the northern portions of the continent. The direct line starts under the armpit of Africa and eventually crosses the island of Madagascar. It’ll pass primarily through these countries: Gabon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique and then Madagascar.
If I’m There, Should I Take Precautions?
Yes, even a small amount of radiation from the sun is enough to burn your retinas. So-called eclipse glasses will do the trick (they’re a bit stronger than regular sun glasses). Or, you could just watch those live streams.
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