A solar eclipse will block out about 70% of the sun's rays early Thursday morning, creating a "ring of fire" look in the sky.
However, cloud cover will limit the celestial attraction for some.
Technically, the eclipse begins before sunrise. However, you will not be able to see it in South Jersey until the sun goes above the horizon, which is between 5:30 and 5:34 a.m. for the region (find your exact sunrise time here), earliest along the coast, latest near the New Jersey Turnpike.
The maximum extent of the eclipse, when roughly 70% of the sun will be covered by the moon, will be 5:33 to 5:38 a.m. From there, the moon will block less and less of the star. However, the eclipse will still be noticeable until between 6:25 and 6:30 a.m.
As a backdoor cold front sags south through the state, the cloudiest conditions will be the further south one is. Those south of Route 40 will likely have a partly cloudy sky, making it a little difficult to see the eclipse. Meanwhile, a mainly clear sky is expected to the north of there, with little cloud cover. Those north of Interstate I-195 should be completely clear, leading to the best viewing conditions.
A solar eclipse is caused when the Moon positions itself between the Earth and the Sun during the day. The Moon then casts two shadows on our planet. One is the umbra, the place of totality, where the sun is fully blocked and then the penumbra, where the sun is partially blocked out, according to the National Space and Aeronautical Administration.
South Jersey will be in the penumbral shadow, while a swath of the Earth from Ontario, Canada to Greenland to eastern Russia will be in the umbra, placing it in total darkness.
An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is farthest from the Earth, appearing smaller in the sky. As a result, it doesn't block the entire view of the sun, leading to a dark dish on top of a larger, Sun-colored disk look, according to NASA.
It is important to not look directly into the sun during the eclipse, as it likely will cause eye damage if staring at it for a long period of time. Rather, specialized sun glasses are needed. If you do not have that, you can make a pinhole projector.
Or, TimeAndDate.com will provide a livestream of the event with webcams around the world showcasing the celestial event.
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