Annular Solar Eclipse Will Turn The Sun Into A ‘Ring of Fire’ This Weekend
If you haven't heard, there's a big solar eclipse tomorrow. People from Oregon to Texas will get the full thing. Everyone else in the U.S. will get a partial eclipse.
On Saturday, Oct. 14, the moon will partially block the sun, creating an annular solar eclipse and turning our star into a cosmic "ring of fire."
The October eclipse, commonly known as the annular or "Ring of Fire" eclipse, occurs when the moon partially blocks the sun, resulting in a beautiful halo effect. However, according to Dave Clark of NationalEclipse.com, an annular solar eclipse does not compare to a total solar eclipse in terms of impressiveness.
What is the October annular eclipse?
The upcoming eclipse won't result in complete darkness, but rather a "Ring of Fire" around the moon's edges, making it essential to wear safety glasses for eye protection.
As the eclipse progresses, the Earth will get colder and darker, affecting animals, insects, and birds as if it were twilight or dawn. Though the experience won't be total darkness, it is still considered to be an impressive event. The eclipse will be visible in a diagonal line from Oregon through Texas, weather permitting.
Best eclipse viewing locations
On the morning of October 14th, the United States will be treated to an annular eclipse that will be visible over the Oregon coast. As it passes over Eugene, it will then move towards northern Nevada and southern Utah before making its way towards the Four Corners area of the Southwest. From there, the eclipse will continue its path toward Albuquerque and central Texas before reaching its end as it sweeps over the Yucatan peninsula and Belize.
The spectacle will last just a few minutes for stationary observers. NASA has revealed that the eclipse will start around 9:13 a.m. PDT in Oregon and finish in Texas around 12:03 p.m. CDT, taking over an hour for the moon to move entirely over the sun to create the distinctive halo effect. Observers in other areas of the United States will experience a partial eclipse where it appears that a chunk of the sun is missing, but it won't be fully covered.
This map shows where and when the eclipse is visible in the United States.
Will the eclipse be visible in The Quad Cities?
The upcoming eclipse in Iowa and Illinois cities will be only partially visible, with a mere 50-55% of the eclipse viewable to the naked eye. Instead of witnessing the coveted "Ring of Fire," Quad Citizens will observe the moon obscuring only a small segment of the sun.
The likelihood of a clear view of the eclipse is heavily reliant on weather conditions, and unfortunately, residents of the Quad Cities may be subject to overcast skies during this period. Reports from the National Weather Service predict a 30% chance of rain on Saturday, mostly occurring before 2 p.m. As the day progresses, cloudy skies and brisk winds will keep temperatures at a high of approximately 53 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long will the eclipse last?
The start time and end time for the annular eclipse in Iowa will vary by town, but it will begin close to 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 14 in most areas and end by 1:30 p.m. the same day.