On October 14, on a Saturday The moon will be passing directly between Earth with the sun and cast its shadow over the Earth’s surface.
People who are in the eclipse — mostly those living in Western United States, Mexico and Central as well as South America — will be able to gaze upwards and observe a breathtaking event which is a circular “ring that is ablaze” the solar eclipse.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow over parts of the Earth and blocking the face of the sun for observers in some locations. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
The path this weekend is particularly across The Navajo Nation and lands of other Indigenous people living in the Four Corners region where these eclipses have a particular significance. The citizens belonging to that Navajo Nation, the Dine people, should avoid leaving the house to watch the eclipse or allowing the sun’s light to shine upon their homes. Certain tribal lands, such as the entirety of Navajo Tribal Parks and the famous Monument Valley, will be closed to visitors on the Saturday in order to preserve cultural customs. (For those who read Dine, we have a message of caution is included below.) image of an earlier annular eclipse, which is below.)
Contrary to the total solar eclipse where the moon blocks all of the sun, in an annular eclipse small amount of light at some of the lunar edges gets through.
This is because annular eclipses happen at times when moons are further away from Earth within its orbit. This distance can make the moon appear just a little smaller that the sun which allows the sun to cast a bright halo around the moon.
This is the reason why it is from that the “ring that is ablaze” name originates. The eclipses are like this. Cool, right? (But do not stare at it in a direct way. Learn more about that below.) It’s not a common sight. There will be only 12 annular eclipses in the next decade, spread out across the world.
For those in the United States, the eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) from areas of Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Arizona According to NASA.
The eclipse will start with Oregon around 9:13 morning Pacific Time, and end in the US in Texas at 12:03 pm Central Time, before crossing across Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and beyond to Brazil.
See the map below for details on the exact time when the eclipse will pass through your region of the US. Only those within the shaded region will see the complete circle of fire.
If you prefer, head to NASA’s eclipse website that has an interactive feature. On their site you can select any location in the path of the eclipse and find precise times of when the display begins and finishes in the exact spot you are.
For those who are unable to reach the eclipse’s path, NASA will provide a live stream. It’s available below.
If you’ve read all this and you’re still pondering — “Why and how do solar eclipses occur?” and “When will the next one happen?” and “How do I watch it without burning my eyes out? — we’ve got you covered:
What is the reason we see solar eclipses?
It’s easy to answer the moon sometimes covers the sun’s path through the night sky. However, it’s much more complex than the simple explanation. Three cosmic requirements must be fulfilled to create the shadow.
1.) There must be a new moon.
The moon’s one side is always illuminated by the sun, however the moon’s lit side doesn’t always in front of the Earth. This is the way we determine the moon’s phases. In order for a solar eclipse be observed, it must have entered its “new moon” phase.
At the time of the new moon it is dark on the lunar surface. facing directly towards the Earth.
2.) The moon must traverse the Earth’s orbit
When the lunar dark side needs to face the Earth in order for an eclipse of the sun to take place so why aren’t we seeing eclipses every new moon? This is because the moon’s path isn’t exactly aligned with Earth’s.
It’s because the moon is tilted to five degrees of axis (no one knows for sure what causes the moon to be slightly tilted, but it could have something to do with the way it created: by a huge object that crashed against Earth).
That means that in the most full moons the light does not reach the Earth.
However, there are two points within the moon’s orbit that the shadow could fall upon the Earth. They are known as nodes.
To allow a total eclipse to take place it is necessary for the moon to be near to the one or more of the nodes.
3) The distance of the moon to the Earth
You may have a memory of this from your middle school science class: Moon’s orbit around Earth isn’t a perfect circle. This is an ellipse.
There’s a place in the orbit at which the moon is most distant from the sun and another location where it’s the closest. To allow a total eclipse to be observed, the moon has to be at the point of its closest point to Earth.
If the eclipse occurs while the moon is close to it, it will completely block out the sun. If it’s further away, we see a ring flames.
If you’re planning to view the eclipse, make sure you are safe!
On a typical day, looking straight at the sun could hurt your eyes. A sun that is eclipsed is not different.