What Is An Annular Solar Eclipse?

An annular solar eclipse is coming on October 14. Get ready!

 Learn about the annular eclipse that will cross from Oregon to Texas on October 14, 2023. A great skywatching opportunity before winter sets in.


Junior Ranger views the eclipse at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. Photo by George Garbeck, Graphics Coordinator Department of Communications, Paterson Public Schools

What is an annular solar eclipse?  An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, but does not completely cover the sun. Instead, the moon covers most of the sun, leaving its outer edge visible as a bright ring or “annulus” around the darkened moon. This ring is often called a “ring of fire”. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is at its farthest point away from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it appears smaller than the sun and does not completely cover the sun. 

 When is the next annular solar eclipse : The next annular solar eclipse will occur on October 14, 2023. It will be visible in parts of the United States, Mexico, and across North, Central, and South America. In the United States the path of the  annular solar eclipse crosses through Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas

Is it safe to watch the eclipse?  During an annular eclipse, it is never safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing, such as special-purpose solar filters, like eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers. Remember the only safe time to look at the sun without solar filters is during the 2-4 minutes of total eclipse. It is never safe to look at the sun without solar filters during any other phases of the eclipse, or if you are viewing a partial or annular eclipse.

You can’t buy part of the moon, but you can Name a Star.

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