June 10th solar eclipse: what you’ll see from the Apostle Islands

2017 Eclipse -Courtesy Pixabay

Remember wearing those funky glasses to view the total solar eclipse of 2017?

If you still have them, they may be useful on Thursday, June 10th, 2021. Assuming we get clear skies, here’s what you’ll see, and when, from Bayfield and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. One hint: plan on getting up early.

The good news is that we will be able to see some of the eclipse from the Apostle Islands. The bad news is that from our vantage point, the best part of the eclipse will happen around 20 minutes before sunrise. Our neighbors in eastern Canada will get to see the most spectacular part.

Watching the 2017 eclipse – Pixabay

During this eclipse, the moon is farther away from the earth than it was for the total eclipse of 2017. This means the moon won’t completely block out the sun. Instead, it will block only the center of the sun, revealing the annulus, a bright ring of light all around the rim. That’s why this eclipse is called an annular or partial eclipse.

Eclipse-tracking website eclipse2024.org says the eclipse will be at its maximum, at 4:51 in the morning in Bayfield. Unfortunately, this is 18 minutes before sunrise so we won’t see it.

The sun rises at 5:09 a.m. in Bayfield. At that point, you will be able to see the last phases of the eclipse happen over the next 40 minutes or so. Click the slideshow to see the progression. Keep in mind that you will need an unobstructed view of the sunrise, looking northeast over the lake. Viewed from Bayfield, Madeline Island will block the view during the critical first minutes of sunrise. If an island obscures the horizon, viewing the eclipse from the top of the hill or other high-elevation spots will be better than viewing it from lake level.

Timeanddate.com says these are the key times:

3:58 a.m. Eclipse begins
5:09 a.m. Sunrise
5:12:49 a.m. Maximum visible eclipse
5:48:10 a.m. Eclipse ends

One important technical note, when the sun is at the horizon, you may see it slightly sooner than the math in these diagrams would suggest. That’s because of refraction, or the bending of light as it cuts through the atmosphere.

If you are going to try to see this eclipse, or photograph it, please be aware that special eclipse glasses or eclipse-specific lens filters are required to look directly at it safely. Please do NOT look at the sun or the eclipse with your naked eyes, or through an unfiltered camera lens, as doing so can damage your sight. Regular sunglasses are also not safe. If you do get good photos, please share them to the Friends Facebook page.

To learn more about the upcoming annular eclipse, including how to make a pinhole projector to view it safely, visit NASA’s website. You can look up what the eclipse will look like at other specific locations here and here.

And if you’re an eclipse super fan, mark Monday, April 8, 2024 in your planner. That’s the date of the next total solar eclipse which will be visible over parts of North America.

2017 solar eclipse photo courtesy Pixabay


Jon Okerstrom
Jon Okerstrom

Jon Okerstrom is a Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore board member and digital and social media volunteer with a background in digital and television journalism, photography and graphic design.