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An annular solar eclipse will soon take over skies across the country

9 months 1 week 2 days ago Sunday, October 08 2023 Oct 8, 2023 October 08, 2023 10:00 AM October 08, 2023 in Weather
Source: The Storm Station

BATON ROUGE - On Saturday, October 14th, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will take over skies across North and South America. Solar eclipses happen when the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun at a position where the Moon casts a shadow on the Earth. Those caught in the path of this shadow will experience the eclipse.

On Saturday, the Moon will be slightly farther away from Earth in its orbit, resulting in a Moon that seems smaller in the sky. The Moon will not appear big enough to totally cover the Sun during the eclipse, producing a "ring of fire" that encircles the Moon. This is referred to as an annular solar eclipse, and this is what will occur on Saturday for those in the path of totality.

This differs from a total solar eclipse, where the Moon appears large enough to completely cover the Sun. The corona becomes visible at totality during this type of eclipse, presenting itself as a white halo. This is not visible on a normal day since the Sun’s light overpowers the corona.

Unfortunately, the path of totality will miss southeast Louisiana to the west. This means that we will not observe the “ring of fire.” However, we will still be close enough to see a partial solar eclipse. The partial eclipse begins at 10:32 a.m. and will end at 1:43 p.m.. The maximum eclipse will occur at 12:04 p.m. when 80% of the Sun will be obscured in the Baton Rouge area.

Please remember that eye protection is REQUIRED to view the solar eclipse. The intense solar energy will damage your eye’s retina if you look at the eclipse without proper eye protection. In many cases, it takes hours to days until you realize the damage done.

Sunglasses will not protect your eyes. Rather, you need special solar filters/viewers that meet “ISO 12312-2” standards for safe viewing. The following manufacturers of solar filters and viewers are listed on the American Astronomical Society website:

*Suppliers marked with an asterisk are either manufacturing or importing from outside the United States.

Of course, we will only see the partial eclipse locally as long as cloud cover permits. You can find the latest 7-day forecast and real time weather updates HERE.

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