What Floridians should know about Saturday’s solar eclipse

partial solar eclipse
Partial solar eclipse. By potenciaverde via iStock for WMNF.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (FPREN) Storm Center | By Riley Hazel

An annual solar eclipse will be visible over North America this weekend. Here is what you need to know.

The Great American Eclipse, or “the ring of fire,” will cross eight U.S. states from Oregon to Texas on Saturday, Oct. 14. The Southeast will get a partial view of the event, with visibility ranging from 40 to 70 percent visibility.

If you aren’t able to view it in person, the solar eclipse will also be livestreamed, courtesy of NASA.

The eclipse will begin on Saturday and, weather permitting, become visible in Oregon around 8:06 a.m. PDT and end in Texas around 1:33 p.m. CDT, according to NASA.

This means that, in Florida, a partial view of the eclipse will be visible from 11:38 a.m. EDT through 3:13 p.m. EDT.

How to safely watch the Annual Solar Eclipse

Regardless of location, looking at the eclipse directly will be unsafe and could cause permanent damage to your eyes. To safely view this solar eclipse, a solar filter is needed at all times, even when looking through a camera, telescope or binoculars.

If purchasing filters or glasses, be sure to do so from the list approved by the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Eclipse Task Force. Buying from places like Amazon or eBay puts you at risk of buying unsafe or counterfeit glasses that won’t provide adequate protection.

What is a Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth. This can only happen during a new moon phase. The celestial event is rare due to the Earth’s tilt, and the type of eclipse people get to see depends on how the moon aligns with the Earth and the sun.
According to NASA, there are four types of solar eclipses: a total solar eclipse, a partial solar eclipse, an annual solar eclipse and a hybrid solar eclipse.

A total solar eclipse is when the view of the sun is fully obstructed by the moon. A partial solar eclipse is when the moon does not fully block the sun, so only a portion of the sun is obscured.

An annual solar eclipse is sometimes called a “ring of fire” referring to the moon partially blocking the sun, leaving behind a bright orange ring.

A hybrid solar eclipse is the rarest of the four and is a combination of a total and annular eclipse. It typically occurs once every decade.

The U.S. will experience the next total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, an annular solar eclipse on Oct. 2, 2024 and a partial solar eclipse on March 29, 2025.

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