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Stunning ‘Ring Of Fire’ Annual Solar Eclipse To Grace The Skies On October 14. All You Need To Know

Stunning 'Ring Of Fire' Annual Solar Eclipse To Be Visible On October 14. All You Need To Know

The event will be visible from parts of the western US and Central and South America.

Skygazers are in for the most exciting astronomical event of 2023, when a rare celestial spectacle will grace the skies on October 14. Come Saturday, a partial ”ring of fire” solar eclipse will be visible across most of the Americas for the first time since 2012. On this day, the moon will be positioned in front of the sun, hiding much of it but leaving a brilliant ring or annulus, as per the Washington Post. 

Visible in parts of the United States, Mexico, and many countries in South and Central America, millions of people in the Western Hemisphere can experience the rare  phenomenon. The dazzling celestial event will allow millions of people to witness “the awe and the wonder of seeing a beautiful ring of fire eclipse,” said Peg Luce, acting director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA headquarters.

What is an Annual Solar Eclipse?

Notably, an annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the sun and Earth while at its farthest point from Earth. The moon does not cover the sun completely, leaving a thin ring of sunlight or a “ring of fire” effect in the sky. Meanwhile, total solar eclipses occur when the moon is close enough to Earth that it appears just as large as the sun in the sky

As perBBC Science Focus, for an annular eclipse to occur, the Moon must be in its new Moon phase, and far enough away from Earth so that it looks small. It’s therefore unable to completely block out the Sun’s central disc. 

The annular eclipse will travel from the coast of Oregon to the Texas Gulf Coast on Oct. 14. Weather permitting, the annular eclipse will be visible in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as some parts of California, Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona, NASA said. It will then pass over Mexico and Central America, followed by South America. The eclipse will end at sunset in the Atlantic Ocean. The average duration of the Oct. 14 eclipse in the U.S. at any given point will be four to five minutes, according to the Great American Eclipse website.

Will the Ring of Fire be visible in India?

The ‘ring of fire’ solar eclipse will not be visible in India. People in India and other parts of the world can watch it via the official NASA broadcast on their YouTube channel, which begins streaming at 4:30 p.m. on 14 October 2023.

Precautions during an Annular Eclipse

The Sun is never completely blocked by the Moon during an annular solar eclipse. So, it is never safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing. People will need protective eclipse glasses to avoid permanent eye damage when watching it. As per NASA, eclipse glasses are thousands of times darker than normal ones. The glasses also must have the ISO reference number 12312-2.

It is also not advised to look at the Sun through a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device, as it will not only burn through the filter but also injure your eyes.  Another way to view the eclipse is by using a pinhole projector.

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