How to watch the rare “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse without burning your eyes?

Many eyes will be turning to the sky on Saturday to catch a glimpse of the extremely rare “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse. But experts warn against looking directly at the eclipse to avoid serious eye damage.

An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is near or at the farthest point in its orbit around the Earth. The Moon, which appears smaller in the sky due to this distance, passes directly in front of the Sun, creating a “ring of fire” effect.

People throughout the contiguous United States and part of Alaska should be able to see the eclipse. Most areas will only see a partial eclipse, with the Moon covering only part of the Sun.

The total eclipse will be visible in parts of Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas. Several cities will have the best views, including Eugene, Oregon; Albuquerque, New Mexico; And San Antonio, Texas. In the United States, it will begin in Oregon at 9:13 AM PT and end in Texas at 12:03 PM Central Time. The eclipse will also be visible in parts of Central and South America.

But please, for the love of God, don’t look at him right. That could burn the retina “very badly and almost instantly,” says Patrick Cohen, NASA’s heliophysics research and analysis leader. the edge. This goes double when looking at the eclipse with sunglasses.

“With sunglasses, it’s a double whammy because you’re still looking at the sun, and these glasses aren’t designed to filter that much light,” Cohn said. “But now your pupils are larger, so you’re letting in more solar radiation.”

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The preferred way to view the eclipse is to use sunglasses, which block much of the light but allow you to view the disk of the sun. Another method is to make a hole in a sheet of paper, stand with your back to the sun, and see the eclipse as a shadow through the hole on the ground.

In fact, tomorrow’s eclipse kicks off a big year of heliophysics, the study of the sun and its surrounding environment. In addition to the annular eclipse, there will be a second eclipse in April 2024 – a total eclipse this time – followed by the annular eclipse. Parker Solar ProbeIt is the fastest spacecraft ever made by man.

Cohen explained that the annular eclipse that will occur tomorrow is the truly important event, because of its rarity. He added: “In the case of an annular eclipse, the moon must be close to apogee.” “that it [the Moon’s] Farthest distance from Earth during its orbit. Therefore, a special amount of alignment must occur in an annular eclipse.

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