How to watch 'ring of fire' solar eclipse coming this weekend

Annular eclipse will appear in countries including the US, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico

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A solar eclipse on Saturday morning will create a “ring of fire” in the skies over the US Southwest and Oregon.

Millions more people in the US, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico will also be able to experience the annular eclipse.

When, where and how to watch the solar eclipse

According to Nasa, the annular eclipse is set to commence at 9.13am Pacific time in Oregon and conclude at 12.03pm Central time in Texas.

This celestial event will traverse Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and Central America, proceeding through Colombia and Brazil before fading.

Although individuals across continental US will have the opportunity to witness a partial eclipse, the awe-inspiring “ring of fire” will exclusively be visible to those in Oregon and the Southwest.

This rare occurrence will not happen again in the country until 2046.

Importantly, Nasa advises viewers against looking directly into the Sun during an annular eclipse, as tempting as it might be.

“Partial or annular solar eclipses are different from total solar eclipses – there is no period of totality when the Moon completely blocks the Sun's bright face,” Nasa's website states.

“Therefore, during partial or annular solar eclipses, it is never safe to look directly at the eclipse without proper eye protection.

“When watching a partial or annular solar eclipse directly with your eyes, you must look through safe solar viewing glasses (eclipse glasses) or a safe hand-held solar viewer at all times.”

Eclipse glasses are thousands of times darker than standard sunglasses.

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth.

The solar eclipse on Saturday will be an annular one – meaning the Moon will appear as a dark disc in front of the Sun, creating the illusion of a ring of fire around the Moon, hence the name.

There are several other types of eclipse:

Total eclipse

A total eclipse occurs when the Moon completely blots out the Sun's light.

People experience it if they are in the centre of the Moon's shadow when it hits Earth.

The sky darkens as if it were dawn or dusk, regardless of the time of day.

In some cases, people can see the Sun's corona, the outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright light from the Sun's surface.

Partial eclipse

This occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun but they are not perfectly aligned. Only part of the Sun is covered, giving it a crescent shape.

Updated: October 13, 2023, 12:08 PM