The ‘Ring of Fire’ Solar Eclipse Is Coming, Here’s How to See It

Clear your schedule on Saturday, October 14.

Paul Souders/Stone/Getty Images
Paul Souders/Stone/Getty Images
Paul Souders/Stone/Getty Images

This October, if you live in North, Central or South America, you’re in for a celestial treat-courtesy of our very own sun and moon.

On October 14, the annular solar eclipse will take place, and it will be visible either fully or partially (depending on location) across the Americas. If you’re unfamiliar with what an annular solar eclipse is, the name gives a perfect idea of what to expect. It is an annular, or ring-shaped, phenomenon, in the sense that you will catch the moon placing itself in front of the sun in a way that creates a “ring of fire” effect right around it.

Why doesn’t the moon cover the entirety of the sun, though? Well, that has to do with where the moon is placed when annular solar eclipses happen. The reason why you get to see the ring of fire is because the moon passes between the sun and the Earth while it is at its farthest point from Earth, which makes it appear smaller than the sun from our perspective. Hence the annular eclipse shape.

There are, however, different phases to the eclipse, and depending on where you’re located, you might be lucky enough to witness a total eclipse or a partial one. Either way, to see it, you must place yourself along the path of annularity, which, as NASA explains, are “the locations on Earth from which the moon will appear to pass across the center of the sun.”

In the US, you have plenty of locations to choose from. According to NASA, the annular solar eclipse will begin in Oregon at 9:13 am PDT, and it will end in Texas at 12:03 pm PDT. After that, it will move to Mexico, and it will pass over Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. In South America, it will cross Colombia, and it will finally pass over Northern Brazil before ending around sunset time in the Atlantic Ocean.

Thankfully, NASA put together a table highlighting where and when the eclipse will be visible from a few select US cities. In Alturas, California, annularity will be maximum at 9:20 am PDT, while in Richfield, Utah maximum annularity will be reached at 10:28 am MDT. From San Antonio, Texas, instead peak annularity will be visible at 11:54 CDT. To take a look at the entire table, you can visit this website. You can also view the path of the annular solar eclipse (and compare it to the path of totality for the upcoming 2024 solar eclipse) on the NASA map below:

Courtesy of NASA
Courtesy of NASA
Courtesy of NASA

Now, onto the very important stuff. Do not, under any circumstances, try and look at the eclipse without protective gear! Since the sun is never completely covered by the moon in an annular eclipse, it is never safe to look directly at it without specialized eye protection devices. Your regular sunglasses definitely won’t cut it-the lenses, no matter how dark, aren’t safe for viewing the sun. If you want to watch the annular solar eclipse with your eyes, you must use safe solar viewing glasses or a safe handheld solar viewer, which are thousands of times darker. You can find more details and a list of the ones that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard right here.

Optical devices are also a no-no. Camera lenses, telescopes, binoculars, or any other regular optical device are not safe to use even if you’re wearing eclipse glasses or while using a solar viewer. The concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter, which can cause you severe eye injury. For more safety precautions, you can visit NASA’s info page.

Ready to go stargazing?

Here are all the best stargazing events that you can get out and see this month or you could stay in and stream the northern lights from home. If you’re just getting started, check out our guide to astronomy for beginners or easy stargazing road trips from big US cities.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTikTokTwitterFacebookPinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


Mad Mex’s New Menu Item Is Inspired by a Popular Mexican Street Food

mad mex chicken al pastor

Mexican restaurant chain Mad Mex has dropped a new protein, and it’s one of the most popular street foods in Mexico.

Enter, Chicken Al Pastor. It’s traditionally made with pork and grilled on a spinning rotisserie with a pineapple sitting a top, but Mad Mex has put its own spin on it, serving chicken bathed in an Al Pastor marinade with a touch of juicy pineapple.

You can order the protein-packed filling in your favourite burrito, bowl, quesadilla, nachos, or in a taco.

As always, these things are here for a good time, not a long time. Pop into your local Mad Mex restaurant, order delivery or through the Mad Mex app today.

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