Solar eclipse 2023 – A rare “ring of fire” eclipse is happening

Solar eclipse 2023 On Saturday, October 14th, an incredible celestial event will take place. The moon will pass directly between the Earth and the sun, casting its shadow across the planet’s surface. The phenomenon is known as a solar eclipse and it never fails to captivate the attention of people all around the world. However, this particular eclipse is even more special than usual as it will create an annular “ring of fire” effect.

People who find themselves in the path of the shadow will be in for a real treat. Those living in the Western United States, Mexico, and Central and South America will be able to witness the spectacle first hand. The shadow’s path is particularly significant as it passes through the Navajo Nation and lands of other Indigenous people in the Four Corners region. These celestial events hold a special cultural significance for these people, making this eclipse even more meaningful.

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Despite the excitement that this event brings, the Navajo Nation and the Diné people hold a strong belief that the eclipse is a time for quiet reflection. Citizens of the Navajo Nation avoid going outside, looking at the eclipse, or allowing the light of the eclipse to shine on them. This is a time for them to offer prayers and to reflect on their connection to the earth and the universe. In order to respect these cultural traditions, some tribal lands, including all Navajo Tribal Parks and the iconic Monument Valley, will be closed to visitors on Saturday.

Solar eclipse 2023 It is essential to appreciate the unique cultural traditions of different groups of people around the world. This is especially true in the case of the Navajo Nation and their beliefs surrounding eclipses. By respecting their traditions and avoiding any disruption, we can all come together to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the mysteries of the universe.

Solar eclipse 2023
The path of the October 14 annular solar eclipse.

Unlike a total solar eclipse, where the moon blocks out the entirety of the sun, during an annular eclipse, a little light around the edges of the moon still creeps through.

That’s because annular eclipses occur when the moon is a bit farther away from the Earth in its orbit. That extra distance makes the moon appear to be slightly smaller than the sun, allowing a bright halo to cast around it.

This is where the “ring of fire” name comes from. These eclipses look like this. Cool, right? (But don’t stare into it directly. More on that below.) It’s a somewhat rare sight. There will only be 12 more annular eclipses this decade, spread across the globe.

Solar eclipse 2023
This annular solar eclipse occured on January 15, 2010, in Kaifeng, Henan Province of China. 

In the United States, the eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) from parts of Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona, according to NASA.

The eclipse will begin in Oregon at 9:13 am Pacific Time, and end in the US in Texas at 12:03 pm Central Time, before crossing over Mexico, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and beyond to Brazil.

Check the map below for information about when the path of the eclipse will cover your area of the US. Only people located in the shaded band will see the full ring of fire.

Solar eclipse 2023

Or better yet, go to NASA’s eclipse website, which has a nifty interactive feature. On their page, you can click anywhere within the path of the eclipse and get precise times for when the sky show begins and ends in your exact location.

For those who can’t make it to the path of the eclipse, NASA will provide a live broadcast. You can watch that below.

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