A partial solar eclipse will dazzle early risers Sunday

     A partial solar eclipse in Vienna, Hungary on January 4, 2011. (Photo: Marco Christian Krenn via Flickr)

    A partial solar eclipse in Vienna, Hungary on January 4, 2011. (Photo: Marco Christian Krenn via Flickr)

    If you’re awake at sunrise Sunday morning, you might want to step outside and look up.

    That’s because a partial hybrid solar eclipse will be in progress, according to a report on earthsky.org. 

    Sunrise is at 6:31 a.m. in New York City, with the eclipse lasting until 7:11 a.m. (remember that standard time begins at 2:00 a.m. Sunday — “fall back”). 

    “They will see, near the East Coast, 60 percent of the sun covered by the moon,” Jay M. Pasachoff, a professor of astronomy at Williams College, tells The New York Times.  

    As with any solar eclipse, experts warn that proper eye protection is needed to prevent injury. Here are some tips. 

    More from The New York Times article:

    Solar eclipses occur because of an astronomical coincidence: as viewed from Earth, the moon looks almost the same size as the sun. While people in the United States will only see a partial eclipse, farther to the east, over the Atlantic Ocean, the moon will pass exactly between Earth and the sun. The eclipse will then move across the Atlantic and sweep across central Africa.

    When the moon blocks all of the sunlight, it is called a total eclipse. But the moon’s orbit is elliptical, so sometimes it is farther away and does not completely block the sun: that leaves a ring of sunlight, a so-called annular eclipse.

    Happy eclipse gazing!

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