Solar Eclipse to Cross North America on Saturday, Providing Rare Opportunity for Viewing

Solar Eclipse to Cross North America on Saturday

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun on Saturday, October 14, darkening the sky across North, Central, and South America. The Big Bend and South Georgia will be included.

Because of the moon’s location during the eclipse, the eclipse in October will be known as an annular solar eclipse. According to NASA, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun when it is closest to the Earth. From the ground, the moon seems smaller than the sun, therefore it does not totally hide the sun during its maximum phase.

The maximum phase of an eclipse occurs when the moon completely covers the sun. If you are in the direct path of an annular eclipse, the moon will cover most of the sun. During the maximum phase of a total solar eclipse, the moon completely covers the sun. In 2024, there will be a total solar eclipse.

When Will the Eclipse Be Visible?

According to NASA, the best viewing period will be Saturday, October 14, from late morning to early afternoon. Time and Date can help you identify exact timings for your area.

Starting Saturday morning about 10:30 a.m., you can join the Tallahassee Astronomical Society at the Challenger Learning Center for viewing. The event is free and will remain until the eclipse ends in the early afternoon.

What Will the Eclipse Look Like for Us?

During the maximum phase, the moon will partially hide the sun by 50 to 60%. This is what it will look like. The graphic below illustrates that the maximum phase covers the whole Big Bend and South Georgia. Additionally, you can also read about- India to Launch First Solar Probe Aditya-L1 

What Does an Eclipse’s Maximum Phase Look Like, and Who Can View It?

Even in the direct path of an annular solar eclipse, the sun will not be fully veiled. The moon will appear to be surrounded by a ring of fire. The annular eclipse will cover the majority of the sun, as shown in the figure below. If you are in the line of a total eclipse, the sun will be completely hidden.

The moon will nearly completely obscure the sun from Oregon to Texas, particularly along the black route marked in white.

Do Not Look at the Sun

Even though the moon partially obscures the sun, looking at the star in the sky is still perilous. To see the event, NASA recommends eclipse glasses. According to the space agency, you can view the eclipse without glasses during 100% totality, or when the moon totally covers the sun during a total solar eclipse. However, as a sliver of the sun appears below the moon, eclipse glasses are once again required.