Starting on the morning of Saturday, October 14, an annular, or partial, solar eclipse will pass over the United States, as well as Central and South America.
Millions of Americans will be able to witness this phenomenon, but only a handful of cities in the “path of annularity,” or the area where the maximum amount of obscuration occurs, will see the mesmerizing “ring of fire.” This occurs when the moon aligns perfectly with the sun, leaving only the sun’s burning rim visible.
For those who are unable to be in the path of annularity, the 2023 solar eclipse will be available for live streaming. However, if you plan to observe it in person, you can check this map for viewing times in various cities.
If you’re not within the 150-mile-wide path of annularity, you can still witness a partial view of the eclipse. The 80-90% range includes portions of states like California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Idaho. States with a 70-80% view include parts of Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, California, and Arizona.
In the United States, the annular eclipse will commence at 9:13 a.m. PDT in Oregon and conclude in Texas at 12:03 p.m. CDT before moving on to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, according to NASA.
The partial eclipse will start and end later. For example, in Eugene, Oregon, the partial eclipse begins at 8:06 a.m. PDT, while annularity starts at 9:16 a.m., reaching its maximum two minutes later. The partial eclipse in Eugene ends at 10:39 a.m. PDT.
To watch a solar eclipse safely, it’s crucial to shield your eyes when looking at the sun. Be especially cautious when using any devices typically used for long-distance viewing.
NASA warns that viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a specialized solar filter secured over the front of the optics can cause severe eye injury.
Because the sun is never fully covered during an annular eclipse, it is never safe to view it with the naked eye. When planning to view or photograph the eclipse on Saturday, ensure that your eyes are protected.
Eclipse glasses, which are thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses, are a safe option for viewing an eclipse. If you acquire a pair before October 14, make sure they are undamaged and comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard. Ordinary sunglasses are not adequate.
If glasses are not available, you can try an indirect viewing method to observe the eclipse without staring at the sun. For example, you can punch a hole in an index card and use that hole to project an image of the sun onto a nearby surface, without directly looking through the hole at the sun.
Lastly, do not forget to protect your skin from the sun, which NASA warns may be very bright. While observing the entire eclipse, you could be exposed to the sun’s rays for hours.