Annular Solar Eclipse hits North America: October 14, 2023
Jump aboard the eclipse train and prepare yourself for the upcoming October 14, 2023 solar eclipse.
This eclipse is annular, meaning that in a specific path across North America, the eclipse maximum will appear as an annulus of the Sun, or a “ring of fire” in the sky. Unfortunately, this path of annularity will not reach Canada, but a partial eclipse will sweep most canadian skies, with the best view in Western Canada.
In the western reaches of Canada, the partial eclipse will begin in the morning of October 14 and will hit the eastern skies in the early afternoon; the exact time depends on your timezone. Over the course of 2.5 hours, the part of the Sun that the Moon has covered — called the “obscuration” — will gradually increase until the eclipse reaches its maximum, around 1-1.5 hours into the event. After the eclipse maximum, the obscuration will start to decrease with the Moon covering less and less of the Sun.
Timing and Time Zones
Below are the times on October 14 that the partial eclipse will begin, reach maximum, and end in the capital cities of Canadian provinces and territories. For more precise information or more cities, please visit the site from Time and Date about this eclipse and click on the map.
10:38 am PDT
11:44 am MDT
11:53 am CST
1:00 pm CDT
2:25 pm EDT
Quebec City, QC
2:21 pm EDT
St. John's, NL
3:48 pm NDT
3:25 pm ADT
3:24 pm ADT
3:29 pm ADT
10:31 am MST
11:38 am MDT
1:45 pm EDT
What will you see on October 14, 2023?
Before the eclipse, October 14 will be like any other day. But as the eclipse begins and the Moon passes in front of the Sun, the Sun will acquire a different shape in the sky than usual…
Across Canada, this eclipse will be partial, meaning that from the beginning to the end, there will always be part of the Sun visible and that it is never safe to directly observe this eclipse without taking proper safety precautions: use eclipse glasses! If you have eclipse glasses, be sure to wear them to watch the Sun go from a circle to a crescent as it is covered by the Moon! If you don’t have eclipse glasses or are viewing the eclipse indirectly, you can try out a pinhole projector, where the light from the Sun passes through a small hole (i.e. non-circle hole-punch, spaces between tree leaves, overlapping extended fingers, etc.) and casts the Sun’s shape on a surface; this projection will hold the shape of the eclipsed Sun! At eclipse maximum, the Sun will have a bite taken out of it; how big of a bite depends on the maximum obscuration of the eclipse where you are observing.
If you are traveling to a place in the path of annularity, the main difference will be at the eclipse maximum: the Moon will cover a circle inside the Sun, leaving a glowing “ring of fire” in the sky. It is never safe to directly observe the annular eclipse without eclipse glasses.
What is actually happening during an annular eclipse?
An annular eclipse, just like any other solar eclipse, occurs when the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth line up perfectly such that the Moon blocks some of the light from the Sun and casts its shadow onto the Earth. At its maximum, an annular eclipse presents us with a ring of the Sun. This annulus is the result of the way the Moon orbits the Earth: the Moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse, meaning that its distance away from us varies depending on where it is in its orbit. An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is at its farthest point away from us and is not big enough in the sky to completely block out the Sun, leaving a ring of the Sun around the Moon in the sky.
Be sure not to miss this Canada-wide event (and the last annular eclipse in North America until 2039) on October 14, 2023!