The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. – Acts 2:20 NIV
On Thursday, as the Hebrew month of Tammuz begins, a rare sunrise solar eclipse will take place which in the northeastern United States will appear as “devil horns”. An identical eclipse almost exactly 3,228 years ago helped Joshua conquer the five armies.
Are you ready for a rare “horned” crescent sunrise eclipse? On Thursday, June 10, 2021 a “ring” solar eclipse will be visible from just north of Lake Superior in Canada at sunrise, ceasing as a ‘ring of fire’ sunset in Siberia, Russia. It’s the highlight of the summer stargazing season.
Those in the northeast U.S. will miss out on seeing a “ring of fire” on June 10, but early-risers will arguably be treated to an even more beautiful sight in the form of an eclipsed sunrise.
From the Atlantic coast from South Carolina northwards early-risers will have a chance to see the odd sight of an eclipsed sunrise (here’s exactly when you can see it from every U.S. state in the path).
For those in New York, New Jersey, New England and southeastern (and maritime) Canada the Sun will rise deeply eclipsed. Going northwest even more of the Sun will be covered.
If you’re in Europe, here’s what you’ll see.
Where to see ‘solar horns’
But for those in New Jersey and New York primed to see something even stranger—“red devil horns” as two limbs of the Sun poke above the horizon. As the Sun appears on the east-northeast horizon at 5:24 a.m. EDT (58º from north, to be precise) it will be 73% eclipsed, but it will also appear “cusps up,” with the two extremes of a “smiley face” crescent Sun peeking above the eastern horizon.
They’re known as the “devil’s horns” or “solar horns.”
“It’ll be worth scouting around ahead of time for an unobstructed view to the northeastern horizon,” said Sky & Telescope’s observing editor Diana Hannikainen. “You should witness a thrilling sight on the morning of June 10 as the horns of the solar crescent float into view above the horizon.”
It’s a very weird thing to see, though you do need to stay safe because just after the deep partial crescent sunrise eclipse, the Sun will get too bright and solar filter eclipse glasses will be required.
That will be worth doing because the spectacle will also involve some weird optical illusions. Soon after the crescent Sun rises, the moment of maximum eclipse arrives, and they will swivel as the Moon moves quickly across the Sun’s disk and begins to move away until, at 6:31 a.m. EDT in New York City, the Moon will disappear completely.
SOLAR ECLIPSE IN JEWISH TRADITION
The solar eclipse comes on Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the Hebrew month Tammuz. Kabbalists consider Tammuz to be one of three dangerous months because of its extreme energies. It was in this month, the 17th of Tammuz when the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans in 69 CE.
In its discussion of eclipses, the Talmud (Sukkot 29a) specifically described solar eclipses as being a bad omen for the nations who base their calendars on the solar cycle. Indeed, the complete solar eclipse that transversed the continental United States in August 2017 ushered in the most devastating hurricane season in US history.
At the end of this section describing the omens contained within eclipses, the Talmud states a disclaimer: “When Israel does the will of the place (God), they have nothing to fear from all of this,” citing the Prophet Jeremiah as a source.
Thus said Hashem: Do not learn to go the way of the nations, And do not be dismayed by portents in the sky; Let the nations be dismayed by them! Jeremiah 10:2
It should be noted that a devil’s horns eclipse was photographed over the Persian Gulf in December just days before the US embassy attack in Baghdad and one week before Soleimani’s assassination.
Annular eclipses played a significant role in the Bible. In a paper published in the scientific journal Astronomy and Geophysics in 2017, researchers from England’s Cambridge University confirmed a theory that Joshua’s miraculous ‘stopping of the sun’ during a battle to allow the Israelites more time to defeat their enemies was actually an annular solar eclipse identical to the one that will appear on Thursday.
And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. Joshua 10:13
On the Hebrew calendar, this solar eclipse occurred on the 3rd of Tammuz, two days after the eclipse on June 10.
The next ring of fire solar eclipse is expected to be visible in the American southwest on October 14, 2023.