An annular solar eclipse will be visible from large portions of the United States this week, including our very own New Jersey.
The celestial event won’t be quite as dramatic as the total solar eclipse that captivated us back in 2017, nor as spectacular as a solar total eclipse that will occur in April 2024, but an annular solar eclipse is quite a sight, nonetheless.
There are three types of solar eclipses: total eclipses, annular eclipses, and partial eclipses. In this week’s event’s case, an annular eclipse is one in which the moon gets between the Earth and the Sun, but doesn’t completely block out the sun as it does during a solar eclipse.
During annular eclipses, about 91% of the sun is covered by the Moon, leaving a “ring of fire” with the Moon surrounded by blazing light from the sun (hence the name “annular” which means “ring”).
Part of the eclipse will be visible from New Jersey on Saturday, October 14th, for several minutes beginning at 1:22 PM (assuming clear skies). In New Jersey, the Sun will only be up to 30% obscured by the Moon.
As with any type of eclipse, do yourself a favor and don’t stare directly at the sun.