FROM THE ASTRONOMER: Annular Solar Eclipse - October 14th, 2023
NOTE: BE SURE TO READ THE VIEWING REQUIREMENTS AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE.
On October 14th, there will be an annular eclipse of the Sun that will be visible from Santa Fe Trail Ranch. The Ranch is outside of the "Path of Annularity", meaning the moon would pass directly over the Sun, but approximately 85% of the Sun will be obscured:
There was another partial eclipse on October 23rd, 2014, that was visible from the Ranch, but much less of the Sun was obscured. This picture was taken from our front porch:
While solar eclipses occur more often, people can experience more lunar eclipses. Why? Because the viewing area of a lunar eclipse can be occur all across the United States simultaneously (if the Moon is above the horizon). In the case of a solar eclipse, there is a very narrow path where the total or annular eclipse is visible. It has to do with the distances of the Moon & Sun from the Earth. Here's a little-known fact: the Moon is slowly moving further away from the Earth. That means in thousands (millions?) of years from now, only annular eclipses will be visible from Earth, not that it's a concern to us.
The path of the eclipse will travel from northwest to southeast the morning of the 14th. If you're in a traveling mood and would like to see the annular "ring of fire", Albuquerque is dead center on the eclipse path.
If you want to stay home and see the partial eclipse, these are the predicted times for the Ranch (the middle time is when the Sun will be mostly obscured):
You MUST have eye protection on at ALL TIMES. Some people try to use welding goggles, but not all of them have the UV protection needed for viewing, so I don't recommend it. The easiest thing to do is just go out to Amazon and do a search on" eclipse glasses". There are plenty of different brands from which to choose. If you're not an Amazon fan, just do the same search from your browser.
They're not expensive and they come in bundles, so people can go together to place one order.