On the 14th of October, the moon will align with the sun and Earth, causing a solar eclipse.
Individuals located within the trajectory of the shadow, predominantly situated in the Western United States, Mexico, and Central and South America, will have the privilege of witnessing a remarkable phenomenon: an annular solar eclipse, commonly referred to as a “ring of fire.”
The upcoming trajectory of this weekend’s celestial phenomenon notably traverses the Navajo Nation and territories belonging to other Indigenous communities in the Four Corners region, where these celestial occurrences hold significant cultural importance. The Navajo Nation, inhabited by the Diné people, strictly adhere to the practice of refraining from venturing outdoors, observing the eclipse, or permitting the eclipse’s luminosity to fall upon them. In order to honor and uphold their cultural customs, certain tribal lands, including renowned sites such as the Navajo Tribal Parks and the iconic Monument Valley, will be inaccessible to visitors on Saturday.
In contrast to a complete solar eclipse, wherein the moon fully obstructs the sun, an annular eclipse allows a slight amount of light to permeate through the edges of the moon.
This phenomenon occurs due to the annular eclipses taking place when the moon is situated at a slightly greater distance from the Earth within its orbital path. This additional distance results in the moon appearing marginally smaller than the sun, thereby enabling the formation of a luminous halo encircling it.
This is the origin of the term “ring of fire”. These eclipses exhibit such a phenomenon. It is indeed fascinating, but it is not advisable to gaze directly at it. Further information on this matter will be provided below. This occurrence is relatively infrequent. Only twelve more annular eclipses are expected to take place during this decade, and they will be distributed across the world.
According to NASA, the eclipse will be observable (subject to weather conditions) from various regions of Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona within the United States.
The astronomical phenomenon known as the eclipse is set to commence in the state of Oregon at precisely 9:13 am Pacific Time and will conclude in the state of Texas at 12:03 pm Central Time. Following this, it will traverse through the countries of Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua before ultimately reaching its final destination in Brazil.
NASA issues a cautionary statement, emphasizing that it is inherently unsafe to directly observe the sun’s rays. The Lancet further elucidates that the potent luminosity emitted by the sun possesses the potential to inflict harm upon the retina, leading to the development of a lasting scotoma or a central vision blind spot.