Weather In-Depth: The difference between an annular and total solar eclipse
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On Saturday, Oct. 14, there will be an eclipse viewable across our region, but why is there not much hype? For starters, we will only see about 20% of the sun blocked, and the clouds will make it impossible to view it.
Don’t worry, though, as our real shot will come on April 8, 2024, and hopefully we have much better sky conditions. Now, the eclipse on Saturday will only be an “annular” eclipse while the eclipse on April 8 will be a “total” eclipse. What’s the difference? The difference is simple. The moon orbits around the Earth, but not at the same distance for every revolution around the Earth. On Saturday the moon will be too far away from Earth for a total solar eclipse as it will not completely cover the sun. This will create a ring of light around the moon, also known as the “Ring of Fire.” During a total solar eclipse, the moon is at the right distance to completely cover the sun, and put areas in the path of totality under complete darkness.
As mentioned above, unfortunately the clouds will keep us from viewing even a sliver of the spectacle on Saturday, but with this eclipse it is a good reminder that we are less than six months away from when Rochester will be in complete darkness April 8 with the Path of Totality right over us! Make sure you get your solar eclipse viewing glasses ready!