The eclipse on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, was an annular solar eclipse. An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth while it is at its farthest point from Earth.
Because the Moon is farther away from Earth, it appears smaller than the Sun and does not completely cover the star. Because the Sun is never completely covered, observers must wear proper eye protection at all times while watching an annular eclipse.
What you can see during an annular eclipse depends on the weather and the location from which you view it.
You need a clear view of the Sun and Moon to see the eclipse. However, even with cloud cover, the eerie daytime darkness associated with eclipses is still noticeable.
To see all phases of an annular eclipse, you must view it from somewhere along the path of annularity: the locations on Earth from which the Moon will appear to pass across the center of the Sun.
As the Moon begins to pass in front of the Sun, it will produce a partial eclipse. The Moon will slowly block more and more of the Sun’s light, making the Sun appear as a smaller and smaller crescent before it forms a “C” shape. This phase is also known as first contact.
About an hour and 20 minutes after the partial eclipse phase begins, the Moon will pass completely in front of the Sun, leaving a “ring” of Sun visible from behind the Moon. This period is known as annularity, or second contact. It will last between 1 and 5 minutes for most places, depending on where you view it from.
During the eclipse, the sky will grow dimmer, though not as dark as during a total solar eclipse. Some animals may begin to behave as if it is dusk and the air may feel cooler.
Return to Partial Eclipse
The Moon will then continue passing across the Sun’s face for about an hour and 20 minutes, producing another partial eclipse phase. This phase is also called third contact.
Partial Eclipse Ends
The Moon continues to move until it no longer overlaps the Sun’s disk. The eclipse is over. This phase is also known as fourth contact.
Live Megacast of the 2023 Annular Eclipse
Lunt Solar Systems is very excited to announce that we have been subcontracted by NASA and Goddard Space Flight Center to team with NASA Edge for the Live broadcast of the 2023 Annual Solar Eclipse.
The event is open to the public and will be broadcast locally in the stadium and live via the web. Visit the Official NASA Edge website for more information on when and how you can join in the fun.
Lunt will be providing a Solar Lab that will house a 20” Heliostat feeding Sunlight to three @ 230mm Lunt Solar Telescopes fitted for Hydrogen-alpha, Calcium-k, and White Light. The images will be captured using RED monochrome cameras, processed in real time and broadcast live in 4k.
Check out the Lunt website and make sure you sign up for our Newsletter to stay up to date on the construction of our mobile SUNlab.
Here is a low-resolution image taken through the Lunt 230 Hydrogen-alpha scope in “single stack” mode (currently being tested).
The Lunt SunLab was built by Lunt Solar in 2017 for NASA for the “Great American Eclipse,” a highly-successful project that broadcast the eclipse in many digital formats in 2017 from Carbondale, Illinois.
The SunLab will be rebuilt at Lunt Solar Systems in Tucson and will be a mobile and robotic facility that will capture the daily activity of the Sun in 3 wavelengths of light: White Light, Calcium-k, and Hydrogen-alpha.
The SunLab is mounted on the back of a goose neck trailer and pulled by a Freightliner truck with an added office/facilities area. The trailer is equipped with auto-leveling jacks. The trailer can be maneuvered into position such that it aligns with north for accurate Solar tracking.
At the rear of the trailer there will be a 20″ Byres Heliostat with guided tracking on a fixed pier. This Heliostat is one-of-a-kind and will serve to direct the Sunlight into the SunLab. It will be protected in a custom roll-off observatory to maximize its view of the sky.
Inside the lab the Sun will fill the apertures of three @ 130mm Lunt Solar Telescopes. These telescopes will each be fitted with special filters:
Wavelength: 656.28nm (tuneable +/-1 Angstrom)*
Bandpass: <0.65A (<0.35A optional)*
Bandpass: 2.2 Angstroms (fixed)
Wavelength: Full Spectrum
Our H-alpha systems are remotely tuneable for capturing doppler shifting events and fine tuning to desired details. The tuning is instantaneous and can be calibrated to wavelength. There is no waiting on the time it takes to heat or cool and reach equilibrium. Our etalon systems are also barometrically sealed and not affected by changes in atmospheric conditions.
At the rear of the telescopes we will have a computerized XYZ stage that houses our RED 8k Helium Monochrome camera. The camera can be quickly moved between each telescope and brought to auto/manual/remote focus. Eventually we hope to be able to have all 3 RED cameras available at all 3 telescopes to capture all 3 wavelengths simultaneously. However, at the moment we have enough computing power to handle one 8k feed with processing, colorization, and storage, or for broadcast in near real time.
Locations to view the 2023 Annular Eclipse
In order to fully experience the “Ring of Fire” Annular Eclipse, you’ll need to be in its path.
Although many of the areas covered by the path are privately-held, many parks span the path and are open for visits, although you can expect that parking may be a serious problem!
The Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central, and South America. It will be visible in parts of the United States, Mexico, and many countries in South and Central America.
In the U.S., the annular solar eclipse begins in Oregon at 9:13 a.m. PDT and ends in Texas at 12:03 p.m. CDT.
The path of the annular solar eclipse next visits Mexico and Central America, passing over Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
The annular eclipse crosses into South America in Colombia. It passes over Northern Brazil before ending at sunset in the Atlantic Ocean.
This table provides the time that the eclipse begins in a city in each state in the United States in the path of the annular eclipse. These areas will also experience a partial eclipse before and after these times.
|Location||Partial Eclipse Begins||Annularity Begins||Maximum||Annularity Ends||Partial Eclipse Ends|
|Eugene, Oregon||8:06 a.m. PDT||9:16 a.m. PDT||9:18 a.m. PDT||9:20 a.m. PDT||10:39 a.m. PDT|
|Alturas, California||8:05 a.m. PDT||9:19 a.m. PDT||9:20 a.m. PDT||9:21 a.m. PDT||10:43 a.m. PDT|
|Battle Mountain, Nevada||8:06 a.m. PDT||9:21 a.m. PDT||9:23 a.m. PDT||9:25 a.m. PDT||10:48 a.m. PDT|
|Richfield, Utah||9:09 a.m. MDT||10:26 a.m. MDT||10:28 a.m. MDT||10:31 a.m. MDT||11:56 a.m. MDT|
|Albuquerque, New Mexico||9:13 a.m. MDT||10:34 a.m. MDT||10:35 a.m. MDT||10:39 a.m. MDT||12:09 p.m. MDT|
|San Antonio, Texas||10:23 a.m. CDT||11:52 a.m. CDT||11:54 a.m. CDT||11:56 a.m. CDT||1:33 p.m. CDT|