JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In October, an annular solar eclipse will cross portions of North, Central and South America. Parts of the sun will be obscured for the First Coast, too.
Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia won't have an annular eclipse, meaning 100% of the moon covers the sun. However, we will have a partial eclipse. At the maximum coverage point, 52.51% of the sun will be blocked by the moon along the First Coast.
On October 14, 2023, at 11:50 a.m., the eclipse will begin in Jacksonville.
The maximum eclipse will occur at 1:22 p.m.
The eclipse will come to an end at 2:57 p.m.
The October eclipse is an annular eclipse and not a total solar eclipse. What's the difference? An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is at its farthest point in its orbit from Earth (called perigee), meaning it's size in the sky isn't large enough to completely block the sun. Instead, it looks like a ring of fire is visible around the moon during 100% coverage, as seen below in an image from NASA.
If you want to see the annular eclipse and not just a partial eclipse, you'll need to travel west. It will be visible in Oregon starting at 9:13 a.m. PDT, then cross parts of northeast California, a sliver of southwest Idaho, Nevada, Utah, northeast Arizona, southwest Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. It will end around Corpus Christi, Texas, at 12:03 p.m. CDT.
To view the eclipse, you'll need eye protection. Remember, you're still looking at the sun, even if part of it is blocked! Sunglasses will not suffice - you will need special solar viewers that comply with ISO 12312-2 standards. These are thousands of times darker. Be careful when ordering your eclipse glasses - counterfeit ones have been found on sights like Amazon and eBay. You must make sure they are ISO approved or else viewing the eclipse could cause permanent damage to your eyes. You can also view the eclipse indirectly through pinhole or optical projection.
Order your eye protection and mark your calendars for October 14, and we'll see you outside!