ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The annular solar eclipse is one of the more interesting natural phenomena that we get to experience here in the Big Country.
We don’t get to see the northern lights aurora due to being so far away from the polar region. We do see meteor showers from time to time. The Draconid Meteor Shower just happened this past weekend. However, the solar eclipse is a special event because it’s not always visible here.
The annular solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the earth and the sun temporarily block the sun’s light. The moon covers most of the sun’s disk, leaving a ring-like appearance of sunlight around the moon’s edges.
The eclipse was last visible in the US back in 2012, and we won’t get to catch it again until 2039. This is a rare occurrence because not everywhere in the world is able to see it when it does happen.
For example, the other side of the world won’t be able to see the event this Saturday, as the eclipse will only be visible in the Western Hemisphere.
We will have a great opportunity to see one this Saturday morning. According to the National Geographic, a “ring of fire” solar eclipse will appear across most of the western United States, as well as in parts of Central and South americas.
Below is a photo of the annular solar eclipse that occurred in 2010 in Qingdao, China.
All lower 48 U.S. states will get a partial eclipse, but only certain areas in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas will get the full “ring of fire” effect. The only areas in Texas that will get the full effect will be San Antonio and areas near there.
We won’t see the full effect here in the Big Country like those in San Antonio, but we will see majority of it. The maximum eclipse will take place at 11:48 am with 92.1% of the sun being covered. That means we won’t see the full ring of fire, but we’ll be close.
Here is the path of the annular solar eclipse and the percentage of max obscuration of the sun during the eclipse.
As you can see, we are the closest to the path of the annular solar eclipse compared to most states in the US. Saturday will be a perfect day to go out and experience this rare occasion.
Here are a few tips before you go looking up at the sky: Make sure to use certified solar eclipse glasses. Without the right eye protection or any protection, your eyes could be severely damaged in an instant, even when only the ring of the sun is visible.
DO NOT wear regular sunglasses as they will have no effect on the eyes during the event and also, DO NOT wear eclipse glasses while driving as they can affect your vision.
Otherwise, go out and enjoy this rare celestial display that won’t be visible again until 2039.