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Highlights From the ‘Ring of Fire’ Solar Eclipse at Sunrise

Pat Smith had never seen a solar eclipse before. But he was in the ideal location for Thursday’s annular eclipse: Greenland.

Mr. Smith has worked there for 15 years for Polar Field Services, a company contracted by the National Science Foundation that helps scientists and others plan expeditions in remote parts of the Arctic. And that had him well-situated as the eclipse passed over Thule Air Base, the northernmost American military base which is about 700 miles inside the Arctic Circle.

He took in the sight on top of North Mountain, 1,000 feet up and about 7.5 miles from the base. His perch overlooked sea ice where three glaciers terminate into a fjord. And the weather, he said, was perfect, with clear skies and a warm temperature for the time of year.

“There was one dramatic cloud I thought would cover the sun early on but it stayed just below and offered a nice perspective to the viewing,” he wrote in an email.

He said it felt very special to see the eclipse from a place like Greenland.

“I was especially amazed when the moon centered itself on the sun,” he said, adding “it was a perfect circle of darkness surrounded by the equally perfect ring of light from the sun.”

— Becky Ferreira

The ring of fire was visible across a narrow band in the far northern latitudes, starting near Lake Superior in Ontario, Canada, at sunrise, or 5:55 a.m. Eastern time. It then crossed Greenland, the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole, ending in Siberia at sunset, or 7:29 a.m. Eastern time.

Outside of that strip, observers could see a crescent sun, or a partial solar eclipse. The closer they were to the centerline, the more of the sun was gone. At about 5:32 a.m. in the New York metropolitan area, the sun was 73 percent obscured, according to Mr. Kentrianakis, who was the Eclipse Project Manager for the American Astronomical Society during the big eclipse in 2017.

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