Wed. Jul 24th, 2024
Eclipse

On Saturday, October 14, the moon will move between the Earth and the sun, creating a shadow on the Earth’s surface.

People in specific areas like the Western United States, Mexico, Central and South America will experience a fantastic event called an annular solar eclipse, often referred to as a “ring of fire” eclipse.

This eclipse will pass through regions with cultural significance for Indigenous people, including the Navajo Nation. Due to their cultural traditions, the Navajo Nation and Diné people avoid going outside, looking at the eclipse, or allowing its light to shine on them. Some tribal lands, such as Navajo Tribal Parks and Monument Valley, will be closed on Saturday out of respect for these traditions.

Solar Eclipse

Unlike a total solar eclipse where the moon completely covers the sun, an annular eclipse happens when the moon is slightly farther from the Earth, making it appear slightly smaller than the sun. This creates a bright halo or “ring of fire” effect around the moon.

Solar Eclipse

These eclipses are relatively rare, with only 12 more expected this decade worldwide. In the United States, it will be visible in parts of Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, according to NASA.

The eclipse begins in Oregon at 9:13 am Pacific Time and ends in Texas at 12:03 pm Central Time before moving over Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and eventually Brazil.

If you want to know when the eclipse will pass through your area in the United States, you can check the provided map or visit NASA’s eclipse website for an interactive tool.

Solar Eclipse
NASA

For those unable to witness the eclipse in person, NASA will provide a live broadcast.

If you’re curious about why and how solar eclipses happen, when the next one will occur, or how to view one safely, we have you covered:

1.A solar eclipse happens when the moon comes between the Earth and the sun during its “new moon” phase.

Solar Eclipse
NASA

2. The moon’s orbit isn’t perfectly aligned with the Earth’s, causing most new moons to miss the Earth’s shadow. However, there are specific points in the moon’s orbit where the shadow can fall on the Earth, known as nodes.

Solar Eclipse
NASA

3. The moon’s distance from the Earth varies due to its elliptical orbit, and the eclipse type (total or annular) depends on whether the moon is close to or farther away from Earth during the event.

Solar Eclipse

It’s essential to be cautious when observing an eclipse because looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can harm your eyes. NASA recommends using indirect methods, such as projecting the eclipse onto a screen with a pinhole or using specially designed filters to view it safely.

If you miss this eclipse, there’s another one scheduled for 2024 in the United States, and it will be a total eclipse, offering a breathtaking view of the sun’s corona.

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