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Your Guide to the October Annular Eclipse in California; What is it? Where to see it?

Your Guide to the October Annular Eclipse in California; What is it? Where to see it?

Experience California's Annular Solar Eclipse on Oct 14. Tips on best viewing spots, safety, and understanding the event. Team


2 min read

October 12, 2023

The skies are set to host a celestial spectacle on October 14th, an Annular Solar Eclipse. While the last total solar eclipse captured the world's attention in 2017, we won't witness another one until 2024. However, the upcoming annular eclipse offers an enchanting display of its own. Here's your guide to witnessing this awesome cosmic event.

Understanding the Annular Solar Eclipse

Unlike a total solar eclipse where the moon completely obscures the sun, during an annular solar eclipse, the moon appears slightly smaller than the sun. This results in the sun's outer edge remaining visible, presenting an ethereal "ring of fire". To experience this, one must be inside the path of the annular solar eclipse.

For safety, the American Astronomical Society and other professional societies provide guidelines. They emphasize that during an annular solar eclipse, you must always wear eclipse glasses or employ other safe viewing methods.

Catching a solar eclipse is a rare experience that should be jumped upon if possible.

The Annular Eclipse in California

While places like Oregon might boast the best views, California isn't left out. The eclipse begins in the Golden State at 9:18 am PDT, with the moon’s shadow traveling at 5585 mph. By 9:22 am PDT, as it exits California, the shadow will have slowed to 4169 mph. The maximum duration of annularity in California stands at a mesmerizing 4 minutes and 39 seconds.

Those throughout California won't get the full annular experience, but will be able to witness a just-as-beautiful partial eclipse. Bay Area residents can still enjoy a partial eclipse around the same time as those lucky enough to see the full annular eclipse.

For those who want a front-row seat to the "ring of fire", northeast California is the place to be. This is the location where Californians can experience the full annular eclipse. Here are some scenic spots to consider:

Lava Beds National Monument: Aside from the eclipse, one can marvel at volcanic features, including an illuminated lava tube trail.

Clear Lake, Tule Lake, and Modoc National Wildlife Refuges: These are excellent spots for nature enthusiasts.

Tule Lake National Monument: This historic site offers insights into its past as a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, an internment camp for Japanese Americans, and a World War Two prisoner of war camp. While visiting take the chance to learn about this part of history so we may not make the same mistakes again.

Surprise Valley: This location houses Eagleville Hot Springs, an attraction in its own right.

Make sure to prepare for the annular solar eclipse by securing proper protective eyewear.

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Prepare for the Experience

As anticipation for the eclipse mounts, plan ahead. Road traffic might be heavier than usual. Fill your gas tank, and bring enough food and water. Keep an eye on local weather reports. Meteorologists will offer valuable insights on whether relocating might be necessary for the best view.

While the allure of capturing the eclipse on camera is undeniable, it's best left to professionals unless you're experienced. The stunning display could be overwhelming, making it challenging to operate a camera. Also, it is incredibly important to have proper glasses or you'll risk receiving severe eye damage while looking up at the eclipse.

If you're not able to make it out to check out the annular solar eclipse, search around for one of the many livestreams of the event that will be live. It'll give you at least a chance to see this great event as it happens.

In conclusion, while the total solar eclipse might be a few years away, the annular solar eclipse promises a breathtaking experience. Whether you're in San Francisco or northeastern California, prepare to witness one of nature's grandest shows. Just remember: safety first! Wear those eclipse glasses and enjoy the view.

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