How to view the ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse this weekend

On Saturday, residents of the western regions of North, Central, and South America will have the opportunity to witness a stunning annular solar eclipse, which will create a captivating “ring of fire” in the sky for those fortunate enough to observe it.

What exactly is an annular eclipse?

This celestial event occurs when the moon, slightly farther in its orbit from Earth, does not completely cover the sun as they intersect, leaving the edges of the sun visible, forming the renowned “ring of fire.”

According to NASA, the “ring of fire” will persist for one to five minutes in most areas. During the eclipse, the sky will gradually dim, although not to the extent experienced during a total solar eclipse. The temperature may feel cooler, and some animals might exhibit behavior typical of dusk.

As Mitzi Adams, assistant chief of the Heliophysics and Planetary Science Branch at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, pointed out, “It is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. It’s sort of like somebody puts a bowl on top of Earth right above where you’re standing. In the middle of the day, it gets darker, but you can still see light around the rim.”

When will the eclipse be visible?

The event will commence around 8 a.m. PT, with the moon casting a shadow over the Pacific Northwest. Subsequently, the shadow will progress southward, enveloping California, Texas, Utah, and Nevada over the following three hours before advancing into Central and South America.

The last annular eclipse took place in 2017, and as per NASA, the next one is not expected to grace this part of the world until 2046.

Even if you are not within the direct path of the “ring of fire,” you can still catch a glimpse of at least a partial solar eclipse from nearly every location in the continental United States. (Those on the East Coast can anticipate another total solar eclipse next April.)

For those unable to witness the event in person, NASA will be hosting a live stream of the eclipse beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, providing views from Albuquerque, White Sands, N.M., and Kerrville, Texas.

How can I safely view the eclipse?

It is crucial to never gaze directly at an eclipse without specialized eye protection specifically designed for solar viewing. Therefore, ensure that you use protective eyewear or construct a pinhole projection box, which can be easily made using common household items. Refer to these safety guidelines for observing solar eclipses.

And as a general rule, remember to never look directly at the sun.

Post Disclaimer

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Memphis Tidings journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.