The Annular Solar eclipse of October 14, 2023

Posted by Scott Roberts on

Image credit: Hinode Mission NASA, NAOJ, STFC, ESA, and NSC

An Annular Solar Eclipse Image.
Credit: Hinode Mission NASA, NAOJ, STFC, ESA, and NSC

While you may be familiar with a total eclipse of the sun, another type of eclipse is sometimes called a "Ring of Fire" Eclipse or an Annular Solar Eclipse. This occurs when the Moon is at the far point of its slightly elliptical orbit and passes directly in front of the sun and does not block the entire view of the sun, creating an amazing ring of sunlight that can be safely observed only with certified safe solar filters.

Map of the Path of the Annular Solar Eclipse of October 14th, 2020

Map of the Path of the Annular Solar Eclipse of October 14th, 2020 Illustration Credit: Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC

On Saturday, October 14th, 2023 a Ring of Fire (annular) Eclipse will make its path through the Americas. An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region of the Earth thousands of kilometres or miles wide, and because during this eclipse, the Moon, although passing directly in front of the sun, will not completely block the light of the sun you will need ISO-certified safe solar filters to view the phenomenon the entire time. 

WARNING: Never look directly at the sun anytime, even during any type of partial solar eclipse without using safe solar filtration such as ISO-certified safe eclipse glasses! Without safe solar filtration, looking at direct sunlight can permanently damage the retina of your eyes.

TIPS: Many people wait only a couple of weeks before an eclipse occurs to purchase solar filters, and are very disappointed when they find that sellers are sold out. Obtain your safe solar filters months before the eclipse happens. Make sure your solar filters are obtained through a reputable seller and are ISO-Certified.