The ‘Ring Of Fire’ solar eclipse will only be visible from select cities.

The ‘Ring Of Fire’ solar eclipse will only be visible from select cities.

On Saturday, October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will be visible from the Northwest to Texas.

An annular eclipse is not a total eclipse because the Moon doesn’t completely block the Sun’s light; it only obscures about 90% of it. This type of eclipse occurs when the Moon is at the farthest point in its orbit around the Earth. During the peak of the eclipse, known as annularity, the Sun’s light forms a ring around the edges of the Moon, creating a striking “ring of fire” effect.

The areas with the highest obstruction values will be along the path of annularity, stretching from the Pacific Northwest through the Lone Star State. However, cities like New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles will all experience a period when the Moon partially obscures the Sun.

Cities and communities located farther from the path of annularity will experience less Sun blockage, while those closer to the path will witness an obstruction of up to 90% of the Sun’s disc.

You can check how much of the solar eclipse will be visible in your city using the available tools.

A storm system currently advancing across the United States is expected to bring the potential for severe weather to portions of the Midwest on Friday. Thunderstorms in Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri have the potential to generate damaging winds, small hail, and there is an isolated risk of tornadoes, as well as the possibility of flash flooding.

Storms are forecasted to move into the Great Lakes and the mid-Atlantic region on Saturday, which could result in cloudy weather that may hinder visibility of the partial solar eclipse in those areas. Cloud cover predictions indicate overcast skies across the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, and Northeast regions.

On October 14, an annular or partial solar eclipse will cross over the United States, as well as parts of Central and South America.

Millions of Americans will have the opportunity to witness this event, but only a few cities located within the “path of annularity,” where the maximum degree of obstruction occurs, will experience the striking “ring of fire” effect. This occurs when the moon aligns precisely with the sun, leaving only the fiery rim visible.

For those located well outside the path of annularity, the 2023 solar eclipse will be available for live streaming. However, if you’re planning to observe it in person with eclipse glasses, you can refer to this map, which provides viewing times for numerous cities.

The 'Ring Of Fire' solar eclipse

If you’re unable to travel to the 150-mile-wide path of annularity, you can still witness a partial view of the eclipse.

In the 80-90% range, you can see portions of California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Idaho, among others.

Moving a bit further from the path of annularity, states with a 70-80% view include parts of Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, California, and Arizona.

In the United States, the annular eclipse will commence at 9:13 a.m. PDT in Oregon and will last be visible in Texas at 12:03 p.m. CDT before continuing on to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, according to NASA.

However, the partial eclipse will begin and end later. For example, in Eugene, Oregon, the partial eclipse will begin at 8:06 a.m. PDT, but annularity won’t start until 9:16 a.m., reaching its maximum point two minutes later. The partial eclipse in Eugene will conclude at 10:39 a.m. PDT.

Unless you are in full totality, with the moon entirely blocking the sun, it’s crucial to remember that you must protect your eyes when looking at the sun.

Exercise extreme caution, particularly when using devices designed for long-distance viewing. NASA strongly cautions against viewing any part of the bright sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a specially designed solar filter securely positioned over the front of the optics. Failure to do so can result in severe eye injury.

During an annular eclipse, the sun is never completely covered, and as a result, there is no safe time to observe it with the naked eye. If you intend to view or photograph Saturday’s eclipse, it is absolutely essential to ensure that your eyes are adequately protected.

Eclipse glasses, which are thousands of times darker than regular sunglasses, provide a safe means of observing an eclipse. If you acquire a pair before October 14, it’s crucial to ensure they are undamaged and meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard. It’s important to note that even the darkest sunglasses you own are not suitable for safely viewing an eclipse.

If you don’t have eclipse glasses, there are alternative methods for indirect viewing that enable you to observe the eclipse without directly gazing at the sun. One such method involves creating a small hole in an index card and using that hole to project an image of the sun onto a nearby surface. It’s essential to avoid looking through the hole at the sun to protect your eyes.

Finally, don’t forget about protecting your skin from the sun, which NASA warns may be very bright. While viewing an entire eclipse, you could be exposed to the sun’s rays for hours.

(Fox Weather Update)