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.
Solar eclipses happen when the moon moves in between Earth and the sun. The moon then casts its shadow onto the Earth.
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.
The maximum eclipse occurs at 1:26 p.m.
The partial solar eclipse will end at 3:02 p.m.
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.
Step 1: Cut two square holes in the same side of the box. Any box will do.
Step 2: Tape a piece of aluminum foil on one of the holes. Using the pencil, poke a small hole in the foil.
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.
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.
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.
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