‘Ring of Fire’ eclipse 2023: When and where to watch

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While excitement is already mounting for the big total solar eclipse in 2024, this year isn’t a waste just yet. In fact, depending on where you are in the world this October, the Sun and the Moon will come together to create a “Ring of Fire” eclipse. These eclipses are more commonly known as annular eclipses, and they occur whenever the Moon partially blocks the Sun’s light, creating a dazzling ring of light around the Moon.

Annular solar eclipses are especially exciting because of the spectacle that they create. And while it won’t plunge parts of our country into complete darkness like the total eclipse of 2024 will, it’s still worth trying to get a glimpse of it if you’re anywhere close to the affected areas.

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So where exactly will this upcoming Ring of Fire eclipse hit, and when should you expect to look for it in the sky? The eclipse will kick off on October 14, 2023. Luckily that’s on a Saturday, so it should hopefully be easy to work around other schedules if you want to see the eclipse for yourself. Like most sky-based events, how it looks is going to change a lot based on where you’re viewing it from.

annular solar eclipse

To get the most out of this upcoming annular solar eclipse, you’re going to need to head to a small swath of the United States, though the main path will extend through parts of Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Northeastern Arizona, New Mexico, and even Texas. Other places in the world, like Panama, Honduras, Belize, and Nicaragua, will also get glimpses of the Ring of Fire eclipse this October.

Parts of Brazil and Colombia will also get glimpses of the annular eclipse, though the path will eventually turn off, heading eastbound across the ocean. For a more thorough breakdown of where to see the eclipse, you can check out NASA’s report on the upcoming eclipse, which features some great visual maps from Great American Eclipse, LLC.

Want to see the Ring of Fire for yourself? Here’s a list of popular places within the main line of the eclipse that you can visit to see the eclipse and when it will reach the maximum eclipse. Remember that the maximum exposure to the eclipse will last less than five minutes in all of these places.

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  • Eugene, Oregon – 9:18 a.m. PDT
  • Alturas, California – 9:20 a.m. PDT
  • Battle Mountain, Nevada – 9:23 a.m. PDT
  • Richfield, Utah – 10:28 a.m. MDT
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico – 10:35 a.m. MDT
  • San Antonio, Texas – 11:54 a.m. CDT

How to watch the Ring of Fire Eclipse virtually

If you aren’t included in the main area where the eclipse will be the longest and easiest to see, then you can always rely on a virtual viewing of the event. While it isn’t quite as astounding as seeing it for yourself, it is still quite the show and definitely worth tuning into if you aren’t in the main path of the eclipse.

There will be several options for viewing the 2023 Ringe of Fire eclipse virtually, including live streams by timeanddate.com and San Francisco’s Exploratorium, both of which will be available during the event. It’s also likely that other groups will join in on the live streams, as well, though these two are ones that have confirmed live streams for the event thus far.

We’re also expecting to see plenty of images from the event captured by astrophotographers in the area and some who like to travel to capture these types of events for themselves.

It is important to remember that Ring of Fire eclipses like this only last for a few minutes, with the maximum time expected for this one to be around four and a half minutes in the main line. Partial eclipses will run for several hours throughout, so you’ll be in for a show even if you miss the main event.

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