2023 'Ring of Fire' Solar Eclipse: Latest Updates

2023 ‘Ring of Fire’ Solar Eclipse: Latest Updates

A trail of darkness will cut across the Western Hemisphere on Saturday, starting at the Oregon coast and concluding on the beaches of Brazil. It is a solar eclipse that millions of people across the United States and Latin American countries will soon experience as a ring of fire in their local skies.

Astronomers use the word “annular” to describe these events. Unlike a total eclipse, they occur when the moon is at its farthest from the Earth. Instead of the moon blocking the whole sun, a halo of sunlight leaks around the moon’s border.

The last solar eclipse to cross much of the U.S. was the total “Great American Eclipse” of 2017 that cast its shadow on 14 states and wowed millions. Saturday’s event crosses eight states before dipping into Mexico, most Central American countries and then Colombia and Brazil.

Here’s what else you need to know about Saturday’s event:

  • The annular eclipse will make first contact with land in Oregon around 12:15 p.m. Eastern time (about 9:15 a.m. local time). Observers along Brazil’s Atlantic beaches can expect their time not in the sun at around 3:45 p.m. Eastern time (about 4:45 p.m. local time).

  • The path of annularity is about 130 miles wide. The eclipse’s darkest phase can last four to five minutes for people closer to the path’s center, and less time for those near its edges.

  • Millions more people may experience a partial solar eclipse, with considerable dimming of the sun expected in major cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston, Mexico City and Bogotá, even thought they are far outside the path of annularity in some cases. Even New York City’s sun will be about one-third eclipsed.

  • Eclipse-watchers traveling toward the spectacle’s path should expect significant traffic, and the state transportation departments in Utah and Texas both warned that many more cars than usual would be on the states’ roads.

  • People observing the eclipse everywhere will contend with fickle October weather, which could be cloudy, clear or somewhere in between.

  • Remember to never look directly at a partial eclipse without proper protective eyewear.

Source link