A ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse, also known as an annular solar eclipse, is a spectacular phenomenon that occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, but is too far away to completely cover the sun’s disk. This creates a thin ring of sunlight around the moon’s silhouette, resembling a fiery ring in the sky.
Unlike a total solar eclipse, which plunges the sky into darkness, an annular solar eclipse only reduces the brightness of the sun by about 90%. However, it still requires special protective eyewear or devices to view safely, as looking directly at the sun can cause permanent eye damage.
When and where to see the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse?
The next ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse will happen on October 13-14, 2023, and will be visible from parts of North America, Central America, and South America. It will be the first time in 11 years that this type of eclipse will be seen from North America, since the last one occurred in 2012.
The eclipse will begin on October 13 at 1:05 p.m. EDT (17:05 UTC) and end on October 14 at 6:28 p.m. EDT (22:28 UTC). The maximum eclipse, when the moon is closest to the center of the sun, will occur at 3:46 p.m. EDT (19:46 UTC) on October 13.
The path of annularity, where the ‘ring of fire’ effect will be visible, will span across eight US states: Oregon, Northern California, Nevada, Utah, northeastern Arizona, southwestern Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. The path will also cross Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Panama, Colombia, and Brazil.
People who are not in the path of annularity can still see a partial solar eclipse, where the moon covers only a part of the sun. The partial eclipse will be visible from most of North America (except Alaska and northern Canada), Central America, northern South America, and some Caribbean islands.
How to watch the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse safely?
To watch the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse safely, you will need special solar filters or glasses that block out most of the sun’s rays. Do not use regular sunglasses, binoculars, telescopes, cameras, or any other devices that are not designed for viewing the sun. You can also make a simple pinhole projector using a cardboard box and a sheet of paper to project the image of the sun onto a flat surface.
You can also watch the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse online through various live streams and webcasts. For example, you can check out NASA’s website or YouTube channel for updates and coverage of the event.
The ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse is a rare and beautiful sight that you don’t want to miss. Make sure you mark your calendar and plan ahead to enjoy this celestial show safely and comfortably.