This coming Saturday, Oct. 14, prepare to witness the skies darken as the mesmerizing “ring of fire” eclipse blocks out part of the sun in the afternoon sky.
This unique eclipse is being called a “ring of fire” due to the fact that the moon will appear smaller than the sun, casting a brilliant ‘fire’ ring around itself. It will be the first time in over a decade that this unique type of eclipse has been seen over Northern American skies.
The full eclipse viewing window will travel across eight states, starting at 9:13 a.m. PDT in Oregon and concluding by 12:03 p.m. CDT in Texas. Here in Charleston, we will witness a 40% partial annular solar eclipse, peaking at around 2:45 pm est, according to NASA.
Do I need eclipse glasses to view the eclipse?
Yes (unless you only open your eyes during the 1-2 minutes of eclipse totality, which is almost impossible) – even if 99% of the sun is covered during the eclipse, the remaining 1% of the sun’s rays is dangerous enough to cause serious eye damage or blindness.
Many locations across the Carolinas have already ran out of stock on solar eclipse glasses, but you can still buy them on Amazon and select 1-2 day shipping to receive them before Saturday.
The American Astronomical Society has identified four manufacturers that are selling eclipse glasses that meet the international safety standard: American Paper Optics, Rainbow Symphony, and TSE 17. Safe glasses should have a reference number of ISO 12312-2 on the front or sides of the frame.
Make sure your glasses aren’t scratched or damaged before using them!
Can I use a smartphone to photograph the eclipse?
Yes, you’ll be able to take pictures of both a partial and total solar eclipse without a solar filter using your smartphone. NASA says the lens in many smartphones is too small to be damaged by the sun’s rays.
What if it’s cloudy?
Even if the weather is overcast on Saturday, the sky will still darken during totality, and animals will still act strangely.