Annular solar eclipse on October 14: A 'ring of fire'
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Annular solar eclipse on October 14: A celestial ‘ring of fire’

Annular solar eclipse on October 14: A celestial ‘ring of fire’

This particular type of eclipse occurs when the moon, positioned at or near its farthest point from Earth, does not entirely block the sun’s face

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The month of October will see two celestial events – an annular solar eclipse, and a lunar eclipse.

Scheduled for October 14, the solar eclipse will be visible along a specific path covering regions in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America.

Understanding the annular solar eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon comes between Earth and the sun, obscuring the sun along a narrow path on Earth. The October 14 eclipse is classified as an “annular solar eclipse.”

This particular type of eclipse occurs when the Moon, positioned at or near its farthest point from Earth, does not entirely block the sun’s face, unlike a total solar eclipse.

The “ring of fire”

The annular solar eclipse is often described as a “ring of fire.”

Due to the position of the Moon from Earth during this event, it will appear as a dark disk set against the sun. As a result, viewers will witness a moment when the sun forms an illuminated ring encircling the moon’s dark disc.

It’s important to note that a “ring of fire” eclipse is distinct from a total solar eclipse. The Americas will see a total solar eclipse next year – expected on April 8, 2024, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

Path and visibility

According to NASA, the United States will be one of the prime locations to witness this event on October 14. The eclipse’s path begins in the state of Oregon and proceeds through several states, including California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

Beyond the US, the eclipse path extends over parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, and Brazil before concluding at sunset in the Atlantic Ocean.

Safely observing the eclipse

It is recommended that watching the eclipse be done using the correct gear. This includes using protective eye wear.

This precaution is vital when using cameras, binoculars, or telescopes, as these instruments can also pose a severe risk of eye damage. Therefore, experts recommend using certified solar viewing glasses or a handheld solar viewer designed for safe solar observation.

Regular sunglasses do not provide adequate protection for viewing the sun.

Watching online

As this celestial event will occur over the Americas, those in other parts of the world such as the UAE can witness it online. Various livestreams will be available such as the one scheduled to be broadcast by NASA.

NASA plans to broadcast telescope views of the annular solar eclipse from different locations across the US on their NASA YouTube channel.

In addition to showcasing stunning visuals, they will engage with solar scientists and invite viewers to participate by asking eclipse-related questions in the livestream chat using #askNASA.

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness this extraordinary celestial event safely and enjoy the “ring of fire” during the upcoming annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023.

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