AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - On Oct. 14, an astronomical phenomenon known as an annular solar eclipse occurred across North, Central and South America.
Rarer than a solar eclipse, an annular eclipse occurs when the moon is at its furthest point from Earth and aligns between our planet and the sun. The sun appears as a "ring of fire" around the moon at the eclipse's peak. The ring is also known as an annulus, giving this type of eclipse its name.
The path of the eclipse was about 125 miles wide but could be seen in some range of annularity from all lower 48 states.
The moon entered the annularity phase of the eclipse about one hour and twenty minutes after the partial eclipse began, a lasting spectacle for those interested in astronomy. Annularity lasted between one and five minutes depending on the location it was viewed from.
Viewers were urged to wear specialized protective eyewear, as the concentrated rays of the sun visible behind the moon severe retina damage. Many libraries distributed the eyewear for free. The American Astronomical Society maintains a list of ISO-certified eclipse glasses distributors and resellers.
The last total solar eclipse, where the sun is entirely blocked by the moon occurred in August 2017. The next total eclipse will be in April of 2024, leaving most of the Eastern side of North American in its path.