(WGHP) – An annular solar eclipse will be visible in the United States on Saturday, Oct. 14, the first of two solar eclipses in the United States in the next seven months.
While North Carolina won’t be able to see the full effect of the annular solar eclipse, a partial solar eclipse will be visible across the Tar Heel state.
What is an annular solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, between the sun and the Earth. Since the moon’s orbit is not quite circular, sometimes it is closer to Earth and sometimes it’s further from Earth.
An annular solar eclipse is when the moon is further away in its orbit and passes directly between the Earth and the sun. Because it’s further away, it doesn’t block the entirety of the sun’s disk which creates a “ring of fire” effect and is known as an annular solar eclipse.
In a total solar eclipse, the moon blocks out the entirety of the sun’s disk which then makes the moon appear “backlit.”
Who will be in the path of totality for the annular eclipse?
The path of totality for the annular solar eclipse will track from Oregon through Nevada and Utah as well as northeastern Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
The rest of the lower 48 will see a partial solar eclipse.
What will the Triad be able to see?
The Triad will be in a partial eclipse on Saturday with the moon covering only about 40% of the sun.
According to timeanddate.com, the partial solar eclipse will begin around 11:53 a.m. and will reach its maximum around 1:17 p.m. The partial solar eclipse will end around 2:44 p.m.
Keep in mind that it is never safe to stare directly at the sun without specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing.
If you kept your glasses from the total solar eclipse in 2017, they can be used for viewing the annular eclipse on Saturday. However, you’ll want to make sure you inspect them for pinholes, creases or any other damage to make sure they’re still safe to use.
To check, NASA recommends putting on the 2017 solar eclipse glasses and looking at a light. If the light appears very dim or you can’t see the light at all, they should be safe to use.
When is the next eclipse in the Triad?
The last time the Triad was in the path of totality for an annular solar eclipse was on May 30, 1984, and the next time the Triad will be in the path is Aug. 4, 2111.
While it’ll be a long time before the next annular solar eclipse in North Carolina, the next total solar eclipse in the United States will occur on April 8, 2024, which will bring another partial solar eclipse to the Carolinas.
The path of totality next year will run from Texas through Arkansas, into Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, through Upstate New York and exit the U.S. after moving through Maine.
The Triad is not in the path of totality for the 2024 total solar eclipse but we will see a partial eclipse between 80% to 90% on April 8.
In about six years, on January 14, 2029, there will be another Partial Solar Eclipse in the United States that will be visible in the Triad.