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Ring of Fire to Sweep Across America This Weekend

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

On Saturday, 14 October 2023, a 'ring of fire' annular solar eclipse will sweep across a 125 mile wide path from the Oregon coast to the Gulf of Mexico. Even regions in the Americas outside of the path of the total eclipse will be able to see a partial solar eclipse, too, if weather conditions are right.

An annular eclipse
The moon obscures the sun during an annular eclipse | Credit: NASA | Bill Dunford

An annular solar eclipse happens when the moon appears relatively small in the sky, and thus does not fully cover the sun during a solar eclipse, leaving a thin outer ring of sun visible often called a 'ring of fire.' It will be the first time such an event has happened in the US since 2012, reports

Annular eclipses happen when the moon is at apogee (far away from Earth). Because it is further away, it appears slightly smaller in the sky. That means the lunar disk doesn't completely obscure the sun, it instead leaves the edges of our star "poking out" from behind the moon, thus creating the effect of a blazing golden ring of fire in the sky. During the forthcoming annular eclipse, the moon will cover 91 percent of the sun.

NASA is getting so excited about this year's 'ring of fire' that it's produced a trailer for the event. Here it is...


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