SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — A ring of fire eclipse is happening on Saturday, Oct. 14, giving Utahns the opportunity to catch a glimpse of something spectacular.
An annular solar eclipse, also known as a “ring of fire” eclipse, happens when the Moon is “at or near” its farthest point from Earth, according to NASA.
The eclipse gets its namesake from the appearance of a glowing ring around the Moon as it passes in front of the Sun. The reason why the glowing ring around the Moon occurs is this: Because the Moon is farther away than it is during what is known as a total solar eclipse, the Moon appears smaller and doesn’t block out the entire Sun, according to NASA.
To get the full effect of this year’s ring of fire eclipse in the U.S., you will need to be within a narrow path stretching from Oregon to Texas. NASA said that outside this path, however, people across the U.S., including in Puerto Rico and parts of Alaska and Hawaii, will see a partial solar eclipse.
This means that those viewing outside the path will still get to see the eclipse, but won’t get the “ring of fire” effect, as only part of the Sun will be covered by the Moon.
For those who are unable to get the full experience in person, NASA will be live streaming the event here. Their live stream will be broadcast from Kerrville, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico within the narrow path, which scientists refer to as the “path of annularity.” The coverage will reportedly include live views of the eclipse from multiple locations, interviews with scientists and other experts, as well as a live Q&A segment.
Additionally, NASA’s coverage will feature live views of rockets launching from White Sands, New Mexico, reportedly carrying scientific instruments to study the eclipse’s effects on the atmosphere.
But remember, because the Sun is never completely covered by the Moon, those watching the eclipse in person will need to use specialized solar filters or an indirect viewing method to safely watch, according to NASA.
For those who are still debating where to watch, or are just beginning to make plans, here are some great locations in Utah where you can witness the event.
The ring will be most visible in the Beehive State at about 10:13 a.m.