Solar eclipse to take over Saturday sky in October
The moon will block over half of the sun during the annular solar eclipse
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - On Saturday, October 14, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun darkening the sky across North, Central and South America, according to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This will include the Big Bend and South Georgia.
October’s eclipse will be known as an annular solar eclipse because of the moon’s position during the event. According to NASA, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun while it is near its farthest point from Earth. That makes the moon appear smaller than the sun from the ground, so it will not completely block the sun during the maximum phase.
The maximum phase during an eclipse is when the moon covers the sun at its highest percentage. During an annular eclipse, the moon will cover most of the sun if you are in the direct path of the eclipse. During a total solar eclipse, the moon will fully cover the sun during the maximum phase. A total solar eclipse will occur in 2024.
When can I view the eclipse?
According to NASA, the best time for viewing will be from late morning to early afternoon on Saturday, October 14. You can find specific times for your location at Time and Date.
You can join the Tallahassee Astronomical Society at the Challenger Learning Center for viewing starting Saturday morning at about 10:30. The event is free and will last through the duration of the eclipse into the early afternoon.
What will the eclipse look like for us?
The moon will partially cover the sun by about 50 to 60% during the maximum phase. It will look something like this. The map below shows that all of the Big Bend and South Georgia is near 60% during the maximum phase.
What does the maximum phase of an eclipse look like and who will see it?
During an annular solar eclipse, the sun will not be completely obscured even in the direct path of the eclipse. The moon will appear to have a ring of fire around it. The annular eclipse will cover most of the sun and will look like the image below. During a total eclipse, the sun can be completely obscured if you are in the path.
The sun will be nearly 100% blocked by the moon from Oregon to Texas, especially along the black path outlined in white.
Do not look at the sun
Even though the sun is partly blocked by the moon, it is still dangerous to look at the star in the sky. NASA recommends eclipse glasses to view the event. The space agency does say that you can look at the eclipse without glasses during 100% totality, or when the moon completely covers the sun during a total solar eclipse. But once even a sliver of the sun peeks from behind the moon, eclipse glasses are a must once again.
You can check if weather conditions will be good for the viewing here.
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