A ‘ring of fire’ will appear over parts of the US when the moon passes between the sun and Earth during the 2023 annular solar eclipse.

The cosmic event will occur on October 14, starting at 12:13 pm ET in Oregon and concluding three hours later in Texas.

Only eight states will be in the path of the eclipse: Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Texas.

The annular eclipse also extends into Mexico, Central America and South America. 

This will be the first time in 11 years that an annular solar eclipse has been visible in North America, previously seen over parts of the same eight states.

While other eclipses see the moon temporarily block the sun’s light completely, the moon is too far from Earth in an annular eclipse.

This means it is positioned perfectly to allow a ring of light or ‘fire’ to burst through – to spectacular effect.

Then there is a total eclipse, which happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth but blocks out the entire face of the sun – and the US will see this happen in 2024.

This year’s annular solar eclipse will run along a 125-mile-long path from Oregon to Brazil.

As the event happens, light levels are predicted to face as the moon will cover 90 percent of the sun, Space.com reports.

Michael Zeiler, cartographer and eclipse-chaser at GreatAmericanEclipse.com, told Space.com that people using eclipse glasses will clearly see a ‘brilliant ring of sunlight’ during the eclipse.

‘I would recommend the U.S. National Parks in the ‘Four Corners’ area where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Ariana meet because it’s a sunny time of year after the monsoon season and before the winter storms,’ said Zeiler.

While the eight states are in the path, only a portion of the area will see the full annular eclipse.

In southern Oregon, the best spots will be along the coast, and only people in the northeastern region of California will witness the eclipse.

The path hits southern Utah, southwest Colorado, northeastern Arizona, northwest to southeast New Mexico and the same parts of Texas.

Dr Emily Drabek-Maunder, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, warned that looking directly at the Sun, even partially eclipsed, can cause severe and permanent eye damage.

‘Never look at the Sun directly or use standard sunglasses, it can cause serious harm to your eyes,’ added Dr Drabek-Maunder.

It is also unsafe to look at the sun through binoculars, telescopes or a camera lens without specialist filters – so it is best to avoid taking direct images.

Using a simple pinhole projector, solar eclipse viewing glasses, which can be purchased online, or special solar filters –are viable alternatives.

‘You can make a projector by poking a small hole into a piece of card,’ said Dr Drabek-Maunder, adding you hold the card to the Sun so it shines through the hole onto a piece of paper placed behind the card.

‘You will be able to see the shape of the Sun projected onto the piece of paper and watch its shape change as the Moon passes in front of the Sun.’

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