Things To Know About Saturday’s ‘Ring Of Fire’ Solar Eclipse


On Saturday, millions of people in the Americas will be able to view a solar eclipse in which, conditions allowing, the moon will be seen passing in front of the sun.

The route of the eclipse is expected to pass through areas of the United States, Mexico, and a number of Central and South American nations.

The kind of solar eclipse that will take place and where it will be visible are described here.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon travels between Earth and the sun, obstructing the view of the sun’s face along a narrow swath of Earth as it passes.

The type of eclipse that will take place on Saturday is known as a “annular solar eclipse.” This happens when the moon is at or near its furthest point from Earth when it passes between the Earth and the sun. Unlike a total solar eclipse, it does not entirely cover the sun’s face.

During an annular solar eclipse, the moon will be farther from Earth than usual, so it won’t fully block out the sun. Instead, it will seem as a dark disk superimposed on the sun’s larger, brighter face in the sky. As a result, the eclipse will briefly appear to be a ring of fire encircling the moon’s dark disc.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse is scheduled to pass over Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

According to NASA, the greatest sun obscuration in the United States will take place on Saturday. It will start in Oregon at 9:13 a.m. PDT (12:13 p.m. EDT/1613 GMT), then go across California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Before coming to a conclusion at dusk in the Atlantic Ocean, the route then passes through portions of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, and Brazil. Greater portions of South America, Central America, and North America will all be able to experience some sun obscuration, which is still a spectacular sight.

Only because the moon is so much closer to our planet than the sun, which is considerably smaller in truth, can the moon almost completely obscure the sun’s face as seen from Earth. The diameter of the moon is 2,159 miles (3,476 km), while the diameters of the sun and the earth are 7,918 miles (12,742 km) and 865,000 miles (1.4 million km), respectively.

Without utilizing specialized eye protection made for solar viewing, experts caution that it is dangerous to look straight at the bright sun without protection, running the risk of eye injury. It is never safe to look directly at the sun without such eye protection during an annular solar eclipse since the sun is never completely covered by the moon.

According to these specialists, viewing it without using a specialized solar filter can result in serious eye damage when done through a camera lens, pair of binoculars, or telescope. Regular sunglasses are not safe for watching the sun, they note, and they advise wearing safe solar viewing glasses or a safe handheld solar viewer at all times when there is an annular solar eclipse.

When Earth stands between the moon and the sun, our planet’s shadow falls on the lunar surface, causing a lunar eclipse. As a result, the moon appears dull and occasionally reddish from Earth. When compared to solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are far more visible from half of the planet.