Annular Solar Eclipse of 14 October 2023

Not eclipses are total. Many are partial, and some are annular. An annular eclipse takes place when the angular size of the Moon in the sky is smaller than the angular size of the Sun in the sky. What makes this happen? Distances! The further away something is from your vantage point, the smaller is appears. During the eclipse of 14 October 2023, the Moon is close to its apogee, its furthest distance away from Earth in its orbit (remember that the Moon’s orbit is significantly elliptical).  During an annular eclipse, if you are on the eclipse path, you will see the smaller Moon cover the Sun, but not completely. A small thin ring of the Sun will still be visible around the edge of the Moon.  Be very careful! Annular eclipses are NOT safe to look at without proper solar filters or instrumentation!

More on the safe observing practices here: Annular Eclipse Safety

The path of maximum eclipse passes from Texas through to the Pacific Northwest on this occasion. Others across the Americas will see a partial eclipse, an equally exciting opportunity. The chart below (NASA) shows the path.

14 October 2023 Annular Eclipse Map
14 October 2023 Annular Eclipse Map

A reminder: Observe safely. Even when this eclipse is in full annular mode, it is not safe to look at. It is also not safe to aim your camera at for any length of time, as your lens system could suffer damage, as could the sensor and shutter mechanism. Use proper filters!

When to see it?  This website will help you plan your observing schedule with its interactive map.

Safe and Happy Observing!  

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