October 14, 2023 and April 8, 2024
Mark Your Calendars
TWO solar eclipses coming to the
United States in less than a year.
Astronomer Dean Regas here
This is your beginner guide to observing the solar eclipses safely
A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Earth and the Sun. If the Moon covers part of the Sun, it's called a Partial Solar Eclipse - that is what will happen on October 14, 2023. But when the Moon blocks the entire Sun (the coolest astronomical event you will ever see!) that is a Total Solar Eclipse - and that is coming April 8, 2024.
Everyone is going to be talking about the total solar eclipse in 2024. But I don't want you to miss this year's show. Let's first get you prepared for the partial solar eclipse on October 14. That will be the practice run for the BIG ONE, the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
October 14, 2023 - Partial Solar Eclipse
Here's the plan from Cincinnati:
- 11:42am Partial Eclipse Begins
- 1:05pm Max Eclipse (Sun 53% eclipsed)
- 2:32pm Partial Eclipse Ends
Your eclipse time will vary depending on your location.
For your city go to Eclipse Time and Date and enter your location
Or for even more details go to Great American Eclipse
Want to know more?
Take an Online Eclipses Class with Astronomer Dean Regas
But wait, there's more to October 14
If you are in a certain swath of the country, you can see the Moon ALMOST cover the Sun. The Moon will be too far from the Earth to block out the entire Moon. But if you're in the right place at the right time, you can view the Moon appear completely inside the disc of the Sun. It looks like a ring of fire!
This is called an Annular Solar Eclipse.
And this is the picture I took from Reno, Nevada in 2012.
To find out where you have to be to see this ultra-cool, rare event please see:
NASA's October 14 Annular Eclipse Page
And I really like this Interactive Google Map
New Mexico, here I come!
The most important part of your Solar Eclipse experience is safety. Looking at the Sun is dangerous! But you can do it safely with a little planning.
Here are the basic rules:
- Never look directly at the Sun without proper equipment
- If you're not abslutely sure of your euqipment, don't look
- Use specially made eclipse glasses
- Use #14 welder's glass
- Use professionaly made solar filters designed for telescopes and binoculars
There are several different ways of safely viewing the Sun which vary in cost and complexity.
The fanciest views show the Sun in hydrogen-alpha and let you see prominences and flares.
Like: Lunt 50 mm Dedicated Hydrogen-Alpha Solar Telescope
And: Coronado Personal Solar Telescope
Later this month I will share some safe do-it-yourself methods. Stay tuned. But definitely save the dates. This is the greatest time to be a backyard astronomer!
October 14, 2023: Partial Solar Eclipse
April 8, 2024: Total Solar Eclipse