At 9:13 a.m. PDT (12:13 p.m. EDT and 1613 GMT) an annular solar eclipse will begin to sweep across the U.S. from Oregon to Texas before heading across the Gulf of Mexico and over Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Brazil.
During the annular solar eclipse, the moon will pass between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow on our planet. A “ring of fire” is created when the moon doesn’t entirely cover the sun‘s disk, leaving a sliver of sunlight around the moon. (Annular eclipses occur when the moon is relatively far from Earth during its elliptical orbit around our planet.)
Our annular eclipse 2023 guide tells you everything you need to know about the upcoming eclipse. You can watch the annular eclipse online here on Space.com courtesy of NASA and follow along with all the action on our annular eclipse live updates page.
Observers situated within the path of annularity — a 125-mile-wide (200 kilometers) track — will experience the “ring of fire,” while those just outside the path will see a partial solar eclipse, in which the moon appears to take a “bite” out of the sun — pending clear skies, of course!
If you’re lucky enough to be located within the path of annularity, the entire eclipse will last about two and a half hours from start to finish. This is broken down into several eclipse stages, including about 1.5 hours of partial solar eclipse, four to five minutes of annular “ring of fire” solar eclipse and then about another 1.5 hours of partial solar eclipse, according to the eclipse guide site The Great American Eclipse.
|Location||Local time of ‘ring of fire’||Duration of ‘ring of fire’|
|Oregon Dunes, Oregon||9:15 a.m. PDT||4 minutes, 29 seconds|
|Crater Lake National Park, Oregon||9:17 a.m. PDT||4 minutes, 19 seconds|
|Great Basin National Park, Nevada||9:24 a.m. PDT||3 minutes, 46 seconds|
|Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah||10:27 a.m. MDT||2 minutes, 31 seconds|
|Canyonlands National Park, Utah||10:29 a.m. MDT||2 minutes, 24 seconds|
|Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado||10:31 a.m. MDT||2 minutes, 57 seconds|
|Albuquerque, New Mexico||10:34 a.m. MDT||4 minutes, 42 seconds|
|Corpus Christi, Texas||11:55 a.m. CDT||4 minutes, 52 seconds|
|Edzná Maya archaeological site, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico||11:23 a.m. CST||4 minutes, 32 seconds|
— What’s the difference between a total solar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse?
— These Navajo Tribal Parks will be closed during the Oct. 14 annular solar eclipse
— All solar eclipses will be ‘rings of fire’ in the distant future. Here’s why
REMEMBER to NEVER look directly at the sun. You’ll need to use solar filters to safely view this eclipse; whether you’re going to see the “ring of fire” or a partial solar eclipse, the dangers are the same. Observers will need to wear solar eclipse glasses, and cameras, telescopes and binoculars must have solar filters placed in front of their lenses at all times. Our how to observe the sun safely guide tells you everything you need to know about safe solar observations.
This is the last solar eclipse of 2023, and scientists will be using it as a “warm up” for the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. A solar eclipse offers atmospheric and heliospheric scientists a unique opportunity to study the sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona — during the minutes that the sun is almost completely blocked by the moon.
The two upcoming solar eclipses have scientists particularly excited, as they are happening during a very active time in the current solar cycle — an approximately 11-year cycle of solar activity driven by the sun’s magnetic field. During the current solar cycle 25, solar activity is ramping up to the predicted “solar maximum” in 2024.
If you capture a photo of the annular eclipse and would like to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to email@example.com.