top of page


NOAA - 09/14/2023

Mark your calendar. On Oct. 14th--one month from today--the Moon will pass in front of the sun, producing an annular solar eclipse visible from North and South America. In this map, the yellow band shows where the eclipse will be best:

Detailed regional maps and timetables are available from


This should not be confused with a total eclipse, where the Moon completely covers the sun. During an annular eclipse, the Moon is a little too small for complete coverage--a result of the Moon's elliptical orbit. When the Moon passes in front of the sun, an annulus remains visible, creating a "ring of fire" in the sky. It is still very cool. Indeed, you will literally feel cool as the diffuse shadow of the Moon passes overhead, dimming the landscape and lowering the air temperature by a few degrees.

The "path of annularity" is about 100 miles wide. Along its centerline, the sun will be ring-shaped for more than 4 minutes, with as much as 95% coverage of the solar disk. Be careful! Even a 5% sliver of the sun can be blindingly bright. Watch the event using ISO-approved eclipse glasses

Outside the path, observers will see the sun turn into a crescent, fat or thin depending on how far they are from the centerline. This is called a "partial eclipse," also best seen using eclipse glasses. Almost all of North and South America is in the partial eclipse zone.

An annular eclipse over Southern California in Jan. 1992. Photo credit: Dennis L. Mammana

There's a lot to experience during an eclipse. Listen for changes to birdsong and insect sounds. Wildlife is known to respond to the arrival of the Moon's shadow.   Also, look under leafy trees. Crescent-shaped sunbeams lancing through the foliage can dapple the ground with tiny images of the eclipsed sun. Amateur astronomers with solar-filtered binoculars can watch brilliant beads of sunlight glittering through through lunar mountains especially around the Moon's north and south poles.

To learn more about the eclipse, we recommend Their Field Guide to the 2023 and 2024 Solar Eclipses is a must-have for anyone planning an eclipse adventure.

bottom of page