On October 14, 2023, there will be an annular solar eclipse — one of the most anticipated astronomical events of the year. Observers from several countries, such as the United States, Mexico, and Brazil, will be lucky enough to see the “ring of fire.” Others will enjoy the partial eclipse, which also looks impressive. Look for the eclipse maps and timings for your location in the Eclipse Guide app.
What is an annular solar eclipse?
An annular solar eclipse is also known as “a ring of fire.” It occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun while at apogee (the farthest distance from our planet) or close to it. As a result, the Moon appears too small to cover the Sun completely, and we see a glowing ring around the dark lunar disc.
Why is the annular solar eclipse 2023 special?
The annular solar eclipse 2023 is known as the Great American Eclipse, as it is visible over North, Central, and South America. A bright ring of sunlight around the edges of the Moon will make a unique and stunning visual spectacle for observers and photographers. About 32,700,000 people will witness the annularity, and more than 1,100,000,000 will see the partial phase. Although annular solar eclipses are not so rare (they happen every one or two years), this one is unique because of the many viewing locations. For instance, the next eclipse of this kind (which will occur on October 2, 2024) will only be visible over Chile and Argentina. So seize the moment!
October 2023 solar eclipse map: where to see the eclipse
The annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023, will cross North, Central, and South America. It will be visible in parts of the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, and many other countries.
The up-to-date interactive solar eclipse maps are available in Eclipse Guide. The app will tell you where it’s best to observe the eclipse, calculate the eclipse timeline for the selected location, and even show you what the eclipse will look like in the sky. You can also use Sky Tonight to see where exactly the eclipse will occur in the sky above you.
October 2023 solar eclipse path: North America
All North America, except for northwest Alaska, will experience at least a partial solar eclipse. The annular solar eclipse 2023 path in the USA will start in Oregon and end in Texas, passing through California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico. After crossing the Caribbean Sea, annularity will pass over Mexico.
October 2023 solar eclipse path: Central America
In Central America, annularity touches Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Observers from neighboring countries, such as El Salvador, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Cuba, will see a partial solar eclipse.
October 2023 solar eclipse path: South America
Most South America, except for southern Chile and Argentina, will experience at least a partial solar eclipse. The “ring of fire” will be visible over Colombia, northwestern and eastern Brazil.
What is the best place to see the solar eclipse 2023?
- North America: in the USA, the annular solar eclipse 2023 will cross many metropolitan areas, such as San Antonio, Midland, San Angelo, Victoria, Texas; Eugene-Springfield, Medford, Oregon; Albuquerque, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. The city of Corpus Christi, Texas, will have the most prolonged duration of the annular phase (around 5 minutes). There will also be many national parks and monuments on the path of annularity, such as the Four Corners monument, which is located on the border of four states — Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. In Mexico, the annular eclipse 2023 will be best visible over Campeche and Chetumal. By the way, the eclipse coincides with the second-to-last day of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Two eye-popping shows at once — just imagine the epic photos!
- Central America: in Belize, observers from Belize City can enjoy the eclipse for more than 5 minutes. In La Ceiba, Honduras, and Bluefields, Nicaragua, the annular phase will also last around 5 minutes, which is longer than in other locations.
- South America: to get the best view of the annular eclipse 2023 in Colombia, visit the cities of Cali, Nuqui, Tulua, Armenia, and San Vicente del Caguan. In Brazil, cities such as Natal, Joao Pessoa, Juazeiro do Norte, and Xinguara will be lucky enough to observe the “ring of fire.”
According to the Eclipse Guide app, the best places to see the October 2023 solar eclipse are:
- Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA;
- Corpus Christi, Texas, USA;
- Odessa, Texas, USA;
- San Angelo, Texas, USA;
- Neiva, Colombia;
- Armenia, Colombia;
- Campeche, Mexico;
- Chetumal, Mexico;
- La Ceiba, Honduras.
To see what the eclipse will look like from your location, use the Sky Tonight app. Tap the calendar icon at the bottom of the screen and find October 14. Below the calendar grid, you’ll see the list of all astronomical events that will occur on this day. Find the “Annular solar eclipse” and tap on the blue target icon next to it. The app will show you what the sky will look like at the moment when the partial eclipse will begin. Pro tip: tap and hold the Sun on the sky map, and then move your finger to see how it will change its position over time.
What time is the solar eclipse 2023?
Here is the general timeline of the solar eclipse on October 14, 2023. The beginning and end times are given for the first and last locations to experience the eclipse and do not refer to any specific location. Don’t forget to convert GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) to your local time.
- Partial phase begins at 15:03 GMT;
- Annular phase begins at 16:10 GMT;
- Maximum eclipse is at 17:59 GMT;
- Annular phase ends at 19:49 GMT;
- Partial phase ends at 20:55 GMT.
Eclipse Guide will help you calculate an eclipse timeline for any location. Tap the “Sky” button at the screen’s bottom left corner, and go to the “Custom” section. Enter the name of a city and tap the corresponding result to get an eclipse timeline for the desired location. Note that the timeline is based on the timezone your device is currently in, so mind the time gap.
Main precautions on watching the annular solar eclipse 2023
Looking directly at the Sun, even while it’s eclipsed, may cause eye damage. The best way to do it safely is by using solar viewing glasses or handheld solar filters. Note they should have an ISO 12312–2:2015 certification, proving they can reduce visible sunlight to safe levels and block solar UV and IR radiation. That’s why eclipse glasses are not the same as regular sunglasses: they are much darker.
Take these precautions to make your solar viewing experience safe:
- Before use, make sure your solar filter is not torn, scratched, or otherwise damaged;
- Before you start observing, put on your eclipse sunglasses or hold your handheld solar viewer up to your eyes while looking away from the Sun;
- Do not remove the solar filter while looking directly at the Sun;
- After you finish observing, turn away from the Sun before removing your solar filter or eclipse sunglasses;
- Do not look at the Sun through an unfiltered lens (camera, binoculars, telescope, etc.), even if you use eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and damage your eyes.
It’s time to check if you’re ready to see the solar eclipse! Take our quiz to see what you know about eclipses.
When is the next solar eclipse?
The next solar eclipse will be total and will occur on April 8, 2024. Check Eclipse Guide or see our infographic about the 5 upcoming eclipses so as not to miss the event! You can also set a reminder in the Sky Tonight app (watch our video tutorial and learn how to do it).
Next eclipse 2023: lunar eclipse on October 28
Eclipses come in pairs: a lunar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after the solar eclipse. The lunar eclipse on October 28, 2023, will become the second eclipse of the season. Read our article about lunar eclipses.
Annular solar eclipse 2023: the key takeaway
On October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will be seen in North, Central, and South America. Observers from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and others will be lucky to see a “ring of fire.” The nearby regions will have a chance to see a partial eclipse. Download Eclipse Guide to stay abreast of the latest eclipse news.