Stargazers in the US, Mexico and parts of South America will be able to enjoy the dazzling spectacle of a “ring of fire” solar eclipse this month.
This rare astronomical event will take place on October 14, when a slightly smaller than average new moon will obscure about 90 percent of the sun for almost five minutes.
Better yet, for those who want to catch a glimpse of the impressive display, NASA has created an interactive map that reveals the areas primed to get the best view.
He eclipse explorer will allow people to follow the annular solar eclipse down to the exact second.
This type of eclipse is when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun at a time when the Moon is at or near its furthest point from our planet.
Quite a spectacle: Stargazers in the US, Mexico and parts of South America will be able to enjoy the dazzling spectacle of a “ring of fire” solar eclipse this month. NASA’s Eclipse Explorer will allow stargazers to track it down to the exact second
What it will look like: This rare astronomical event will take place on October 14, when a slightly smaller-than-average new moon will obscure about 90 percent of the sun for up to five minutes.
It does not completely obscure the face of the sun, unlike a total solar eclipse, so it will momentarily appear as if a ring of fire surrounds the dark disk of the moon.
A total solar eclipse is scheduled to occur on April 8, 2024, which will pass over Mexico, the United States and Canada.
Meanwhile, millions of people in North, Central and South America will likely be able to view the stunning annular eclipse.
In the US, where according to NASA the maximum dimming of the Sun will occur, the eclipse will pass through parts of several states starting at 09:13 PT (17:13 BST) in Oregon.
|Location||Partial eclipse begins||Annulment begins||Maximum||The annularity ends||Partial eclipse ends|
|Eugene, Oregon||8:06 a.m. PDT||9:16 a.m. PDT||9:18 a.m. PDT||9:20 a.m. PDT||10:39 a.m. PDT|
|Heights, California||8:05 a.m. PDT||9:19 a.m. PDT||9:20 a.m. PDT||9:21 a.m. PDT||10:43 a.m. PDT|
|Battle Mountain, Nevada||8:06 a.m. PDT||9:21 a.m. PDT||9:23 a.m. PDT||9:25 a.m. PDT||10:48 am PDT|
|Richfield (Utah)||9:09 a.m. MDT||10:26 am (Pacific Time)||10:28 am (Pacific Time)||10:31 am (Pacific Time)||11:56 am MDT|
|Albuquerque, New Mexico||9:13 a.m. MDT||10:34 am (Pacific Time)||10:35 am (Pacific Time)||10:39 am (Pacific Time)||12:09 pm (Pacific Time)|
|San Antonio, Texas||10:23 a.m. CDT||11:52 a.m. CDT||11:54 a.m. CDT||11:56 am CDT||1:33 pm CDT|
It will then appear in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
The eclipse path will then cross parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia and Brazil before ending at sunset in the Atlantic Ocean.
Meanwhile, people in much larger areas of North America, Central America, and South America will be able to see a minor dimming of the sun.
To help make the most of it, NASA has created a tool that will allow users to “immerse themselves in this incredible celestial event like never before.”
It features layers and layers of details that space enthusiasts can turn on or off, including what percentage of the sun will be covered at the peak of the eclipse in various areas.
Sky watchers can also see the path and shapes of the antumbra (the darkest part of the shadow and where the annularity occurs) and the penumbra, which are the brightest parts of the shadow, where only a partial eclipse is visible .
It’s fun to play with: NASA’s interactive tool (pictured) features layers and layers of details that space enthusiasts can turn on or off, including what percentage of the sun will be covered at the peak of the eclipse in various areas.
Comparison: An annular solar eclipse does not completely obscure the face of the sun, unlike a total solar eclipse, so it will momentarily appear as if a ring of fire surrounds the dark disk of the moon. The photo shows the path that the annular solar eclipse of 2023 will take compared to the total solar eclipse that will be visible in 2024.
Warning: Ahead of the show, stargazers have also been reminded not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse. For safe viewing, people have been advised to invest in some eclipse glasses (pictured) to use during this rare event.
WHAT IS AN ANNUAL SOLAR ECLIPSE?
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, but when it is at or near its farthest point from the Earth.
Because the moon is farther from Earth, it appears smaller than the sun and does not completely cover it.
As a result, the Moon appears as a dark disk on top of a larger bright disk, creating what appears to be a ring of fire around the Moon.
It does not completely obscure the face of the sun, unlike a total solar eclipse.
Solar eclipses are also different from lunar eclipses.
Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth is placed between the Moon and the Sun and our planet’s shadow is cast on the lunar surface.
This makes the Moon look dim from Earth, sometimes with a reddish color.
Lunar eclipses are visible from half the Earth, a much wider area than solar eclipses.
There’s even a “time slider” that allows people to see how the shadow of the eclipse will change across the US, plus city labels that reveal not only what the show will be like in a given location but also the weather conditions. planned.
Other features include the so-called ‘countdown widget’, which provides a timer to know when the eclipse will have maximum coverage for each city.
Then, an “autoplay” button shows how the eclipse will play out across the country.
It can be viewed at different speeds, while a ‘follow’ toggle button will allow users to move the map to follow the shadow as it moves across the landscape during the eclipse.
In a blog post on the US space agency’s website, NASA wrote: “The interface comes with a grid of toggle buttons at the bottom, divided into different categories: shadow components, city labels (or markers ), eclipse paths, coverage percentages and duration intervals.
‘Clicking any of the buttons will cause the data to appear (or disappear) on the map.
“In addition, clicking on any of the city labels on the map brings up a pop-up window with additional information about the eclipse at that location.”
NASA plans to use the Eclipse Explorer in its live broadcast of the eclipse, which will be available here.
Ahead of the show, stargazers have also been reminded not to look directly at the sun during the eclipse.
For safe viewing, people have been advised to invest in some eclipse glasses to use during this rare event.
When using a camera, telescope or binoculars, a NASA-approved solar filter is the best equipment you can have, experts say.
WHEN WILL THE NEXT SOLAR ECLIPSE OCCUR AND HOW YOU CAN WATCH IT
April 8, 2024: A total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of North America
March 29, 2025: A partial solar eclipse will also be visible from northwest Africa, the United Kingdom, Europe and northern Russia.
August 12, 2026: A total solar eclipse will be visible from the Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, the Atlantic Ocean and northern Spain. Meanwhile, a partial eclipse should also be visible from the UK, with around 90 per cent of the sun covered.
In the UK, a partial solar eclipse will appear in March 2025 and will look like the image above.
The last total eclipse in the UK was on August 11, 1999.
It was visible over Cornwall and parts of Devon, which were in the path of totality. Other parts of the UK experienced a partial eclipse.