Solar eclipse map: Trace the annular “ring of fire.”

Solar eclipse map: Trace the annular “ring of fire.”

On Saturday, October 14, an annular solar eclipse, or “ring of fire,” will sweep across much of the Western Hemisphere.

North and Central America

The darkest part of the moon’s shadow will slide from Oregon to Texas on Saturday morning, then cross the Gulf of Mexico into Central America.

Inside this dark band – the annular path – viewers will see a ring of light around the moon for up to 5 minutes. Viewers outside the annular path will see the crescent sun in a partial solar eclipse.

The map below shows the path of the eclipse, and the approximate local time at which the ring of fire will appear.

Source: Eclipse data from NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Western hemisphere

On Saturday afternoon, the moon’s shadow will reach South America, pass through Brazil, through the Amazon, and then cross the edge of the Earth.

The path of the eclipse passes through many time zones, so the local time will vary greatly depending on the country and region.

Source: Eclipse data from NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Watch the eclipse

It is never safe to look directly at the sun. Use approved eclipse glasses, make a cardboard pinhole projector or look at the many crescent shadows cast by the tree.

NASA will have a live broadcast of the eclipse. Or watch a simulated flyover of the United States from a shadow perspective.

For viewers in New York City, heavy rain is expected on Saturday. If the sky is clear, a partial eclipse will appear from 12:09 pm until 2:36 pm, and it will reach its peak at about 1:22 pm.

Viewers at other locations can search by city or click on a world map to determine the local eclipse time.

Annular eclipse

The Moon orbits in an elliptical orbit around the Earth, appearing slightly larger or smaller in the sky depending on its distance.

A picture of the Earth and the Moon taken by the Osiris-Rex spacecraft.

NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon’s shadow falls on the Earth. If the Moon were relatively close to the Earth, it would completely block the Sun and cause a total eclipse. The next total eclipse that can be seen from the United States will be on April 8, 2024.

Illustration of a solar eclipse.

NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

But if the Moon is relatively far from Earth, it will not appear large enough in the sky to completely block the Sun, and will leave a ring of light – an annular eclipse.

Annular solar eclipse in May 2012.


Looking back at the sunlit land

NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory orbits a stable point between Earth and the sun, a good location for photographing the far side of the moon when it crosses in front of Earth.

A picture of the moon passing in front of the Earth in 2021.


From space, the annular eclipse looks like a mysterious dark spot sweeping across the planet.

An image of the moon’s shadow during the June 2020 annular eclipse.


If clouds obscure the view from Earth, astronauts on the International Space Station may be able to glimpse the shadow from low Earth orbit.

The moon’s shadow over the Pacific Ocean during the May 2012 annular eclipse.


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