Rare ‘Ring of Fire’ eclipse set to darken skies. Here’s when and how to view

Partial solar eclipse visible from Central Florida

Annular solar eclipse (Pixabay)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dust off your old and approved solar eclipse glasses. A rare annular solar eclipse is coming to the U.S.

While Central Florida won’t witness the main event, you’ll still be able to see the moon take a “bite” out of the sun on Oct. 14. In order to view this event, you need approved protective eyewear. Do not look directly at the sun during this event. Toward the end of this story, you can find a DIY project to protect your eyes if you don’t have the correct eyewear.

An annular solar eclipse, aka ring of fire eclipse, is different than the total solar eclipse that captivated the country in 2017. This time around, the moon won’t completely cover the sun from Earth’s point of view.

As a result, those in the main path of the eclipse will still see a ring of orange in the sky.

Ring of fire eclipse

Solar eclipses happen when the moon moves in between Earth and the sun. The moon then casts its shadow onto the Earth.

2023 Solar Eclipse

The moon’s shadow enters the Pacific northwest during the late morning eastern time and exits off the southeast Texas coast.

Florida is not in the direct shadow, but a partial solar eclipse, similar to what Central Florida saw in 2017, will be visible pending favorable weather.

How to see it in Central Florida

Enough of the sun will be blocked by the moon to slightly darken the Central Florida sky early on Oct. 14. The temperature may also drop a couple of degrees due to a temporary loss in solar heating.

The moon will cover about 65% of the sun during the height of the eclipse in Central Florida.

The eclipse gets underway at 11:52 a.m.

Solar Eclipse From Orlando

The maximum eclipse occurs at 1:26 p.m.

Maximum solar eclipse from Orlando

The partial solar eclipse will end at 3:02 p.m.

Eclipse ends in Orlando

How to safely view

Solar eclipses, total or annular, require approved protective eyewear or a device that projects the eclipse onto a surface. These devices can be made at home.

In 2017, approved eclipse solar glasses were hard to find. Fake solar glasses were also on the market. Using fake glasses is extremely dangerous. For a list of where you can purchase approved eclipse-viewing glasses, click here.

Make your own eclipse projector

It is also very simple to make your own viewing device with common household items.

All you need are scissors, a box, white paper, tape, aluminum foil and a pencil.

DIY Eclipse

Step 1: Cut two square holes in the same side of the box. Any box will do.

Cut two holes in the box

Step 2: Tape a piece of aluminum foil on one of the holes. Using the pencil, poke a small hole in the foil.

Place foil on one of the holes and poke a small hole

Step 3: Inside the box, opposite of the holes, tape a white piece of paper. This is where the eclipse will be projected. Close up the box.

Tape a white piece of paper on the back of the box.

With your back to the sun, angle the box so that the holes are pointing toward the sun. Look in the open hole and you will see the eclipse projected onto the computer paper in the back of the box.

How the projection looks

If you miss this eclipse, there is an even bigger one coming in 2024. This is the iconic total solar eclipse like what was seen in 2017.

Florida is not in the path of totality but with some planning, you can travel to see the once in a lifetime event.

Florida will see another partial solar eclipse during the event April 8.

2024 Total Solar Eclipse

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About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 and now covers weather on TV and all digital platforms.