Oct 13

2023 Annular Solar Eclipse – The View from Utah

On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 14, a solar eclipse will be visible throughout the continental United States. During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes in front of the Sun and blocks some of its light. At the midpoint of the eclipse, the Sun will appear as either a thin crescent outside the path of annularity, or a thin ring inside the path. Click here to see the path the eclipse will take across eastern Nevada and Utah:https://stellarvistaobservatory.org/2023/09/18/sky-report-september-18-24/

Eclipses appear different depending on a person’s location, and Utah will have one of the best views of this eclipse anywhere in the United States. Indeed, for much of central and southern Utah, the eclipse will be “annular.” This means that for up to a few minutes near the midpoint of the approximately 3-hour-long eclipse, the entire Moon will be seen directly in front of the Sun; however, the Moon will be a little too small to fully block the Sun’s surface. At full annularity, the Sun will appear as a very thin “ring of fire”.

For Utahans observing from outside of the path of annularity, the Sun will become a thin crescent during the height of the eclipse. In Kanab, Utah, the celestial phenomenon begins at 9:09 AM and ends at 11:57 AM. At the midpoint of the occultation at 10:28 AM when viewed from Kanab, the Moon will block 88% of the Sun’s orb, appearing as a thin crescent.

For public enjoyment of the 2023 solar eclipse, Stellar Vista Observatory will provide two telescopes fitted with approved solar filters at the Kanab Center, corner of 100 East and Center Street (US Hwy 89). Though not fully annular when seen from Kanab, the sight will be quite impressive nonetheless!

Stellar Vista Observatory offers these recommendations for anyone interested in seeing the eclipse. At no point during this eclipse will it be safe to look directly at the Sun without a solar filter. Never look at the Sun without using an approved solar filter! Even outside the path of annularity, viewing the eclipse will be wonderfully memorable. Large crowds and unusually high levels of traffic are expected in the path of annularity on eclipse day. If you decide to travel to observe the eclipse along the path of annularity, plan accordingly.

The American Astronomical Society (AAS), an organization of professional astronomers, has published a list of recommended resources for the eclipse. Here are a few AAS resources written for the general public:

information on solar filters and how to safely view the Sun:https://eclipse.aas.org/eye-

an interactive eclipse map that provides location-specific information about the eclipse:http://xjubier.free.fr/en/

A free, AAS-sponsored smartphone app called “Totality by Big Kid Science.” This app provides detailed eclipse-viewing information for any given location and is available for both Android and iOS smartphones.

Many parks, universities, and organizations will host eclipse viewing events for the general public on eclipse day. Be safe and enjoy the spectacle!

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