Rockford Gets A Look At A Solar Eclipse Early Thursday Morning
I've shared quite a bit of information about what's happening in Rockford's skies over the last month, and we're not done yet. If you feel like getting up a bit early tomorrow morning, you'll get a look at a solar eclipse.
A few weeks back, I pointed out that the Rockford area would be getting multiple opportunities to catch the International Space Station (ISS) flying overhead, and that you should check out SpotTheStation to find the times for best viewing.
According to SpotTheStation, our area is currently in a dry spell when it comes to ISS flyovers, but the site says we'll be able to get more looks at the ISS speeding by after June 19th.
After we covered the ISS flyovers, it was on to the Super Flower Moon. The Super Flower Moon even had an added bonus of a lunar eclipse on its brightest day, which turned it into the Super Flower Blood Moon Eclipse.
Unfortunately, the weather sucked during all of that, and what we hoped would be a spectacular view turned out to be nothing but a bunch of heavy cloud cover.
Looking ahead to tomorrow morning's forecast, it looks like we'll be experiencing clear or maybe partly cloudy skies at sunrise, which is exactly when the solar eclipse, this time called an annular eclipse, will be most viewable for the Rockford area.
There are three types of solar eclipses: the partial solar eclipse, when the Moon blocks just a part of the Sun; the total solar eclipse, where the Sun is covered by the moon completely; and lastly, what we'll be seeing tomorrow, the annular solar eclipse.
An annular solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the apparent diameter of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Being smaller in size, the Moon fails to block all of the Sun’s light, and instead, only covers the Sun’s center. This leaves the Sun’s outer edges visible, effectively forming a ‘ring of fire’ effect in the sky.
NASA says that the best time for viewing here in the Rockford area will be at 5:18am, with the entire show being over by 5:40am. You'll want to find a vantage point that gives you a view of the Eastern horizon as the sun comes up. You'll also want to take extreme caution, and avoid looking at the eclipse with the naked eye.
Here are some more details: