Oct 13, 2023
US states from Oregon to Texas will be treated on Saturday to a “ring of fire” eclipse. It'll be a solar display so striking that residents may be tempted to stare.
If you’re one of them, resist that desire.
NASA issued a warning in a press release about the eclipse. NASA stated it's never safe to look straight at the Sun without special eye protection. It explained doing so "will instantly cause severe eye injury." NASA also cautioned that this includes viewing the Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or telescope without a special solar filter.
But proper viewing devices can be obtained by the public. These include a pinhole projector or “eclipse glasses.” If you can rustle up either and you live in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Texas, California, Idaho, Colorado, or Arizona, you’re in for a visual treat. Why? The eclipse will be an annular one. This means the moon will pass straight in front of the sun. It will produce a “ring of fire” effect. The outer corona of the sun will glow around the dark sphere of the moon. The effect has been described as unearthly.
Richard Rand is an astronomer. He told The Guardian that even he finds the effect "quite spooky."
The eclipse should be most easy to see across the Western states between the hours of 9:13am Pacific and 12:03pm Central Time. It will then pass across Central and South America before vanishing. The next chance to catch an eclipse in the US will be April 8, 2024. That one will be a total solar eclipse.
Reflect: How might the experience of witnessing a natural phenomenon like a solar eclipse foster a sense of unity and appreciation for the world around us?
Pixels on Fire
In this lesson, students will examine how NASA remotely detects wildfires from space, how they display satellite data about the Earth's climate, and information about three Californian wildfires of the 21st century.
Graphing Temperature Models
This lesson introduces students to graphing using historic temperatures on Earth.
Earth’s Vital Signs: An Exploration
This lesson is an exploration of climate change data, including greenhouse gases, global temperature, ice melt, and sea level rise.