A unique celestial spectacle, known as the “ring of fire” solar eclipse, will be visible to millions of Americans from Oregon to Texas this Saturday. This rare event, officially termed an annular eclipse, occurs when the moon passes in front of the sun, creating a radiant ring in the sky. NASA has confirmed that those located in the path of annularity will have the best view of the full “ring of fire” effect.
This event is not to be missed, as the next occurrence won’t be until 2046. The path of the annular solar eclipse will traverse a significant portion of the western and southwestern U.S., including major cities such as Eugene, Oregon, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and San Antonio, Texas.
Those outside the path of annularity may not witness the full “ring of fire,” but they will still be able to see the moon partially obscuring the sun. The eclipse will be visible from approximately 9:15 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. local time on Saturday, Oct 14, with the duration varying from 30 seconds to 5 minutes depending on the viewer’s location relative to the path of annularity.
Weather conditions will also influence visibility, but even on a cloudy day, the daytime darkness associated with solar eclipses will be evident. As with all solar eclipses, it’s crucial to protect your eyes since the sun is never completely obscured during an annular eclipse. Eclipse glasses are recommended, but NASA also suggests alternative viewing methods.
The last annular eclipse visible in the U.S. occurred in May 2012. The “ring of fire” effect is a result of the moon passing between the Earth and the sun while at its furthest point from Earth, causing the moon to appear smaller and not fully cover the sun.
Those in the path of annularity will experience up to 90% of the sun being blocked by the moon, leading to a slight temperature drop and a dimming of daylight similar to sunrise or sunset.
Read more at 12 News.