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2023 Annular Solar Eclipse - Observation & Where to Buy Solar Eclipse Glasses

An annular solar eclipse is an event that involves the Sun and the Moon. On Earth, we see the effect as a complete change in the environment because the shadow of the Moon enshrouds the area in the path of movement. It's a can't-miss event and it's coming to North America in October 2023! Order your solar eclipse glasses sooner than later!

You don't want to miss the special look of an annular eclipse because of its beautiful "ring of fire" effect. Learn more about this type of eclipse and find out where you can buy solar eclipse glasses to safely view the 2023 annular solar eclipse!


Annular Solar Eclipse - What Does it Look Like?

The most common eclipse known is a total solar eclipse. It's a surprise to some folks that there are different types of eclipses. Unlike a total eclipse, which completely blocks out the sun from view and visibly shows the corona, the annular solar eclipse creates another special sighting.

example of an annular solar eclipse

The annular eclipse occurs when the Moon is at its farthest from the Earth. When all celestial objects line up, the Moon appears smaller (since it's farther away) and does not cover the whole Sun making more of its light visible. Never look at the Sun without proper eye protection - even during an eclipse.

The Sun's corona is not visible like with a total eclipse, instead, the way it's lined up shows a fiery ring around the dark moon. The image above demonstrates the look of an annular eclipse.

There are four different types of eclipses. Each one involves the Moon and the Sun, however, the positioning changes and that's what makes them unique. We've included the annular eclipse as well, along with a short description of what what the eclipse appears like.

  • Annular - the Moon is far from the Earth, when all objects line up it creates a "ring of fire" effect

  • Total - the Moon is close enough to the Earth when the objects line up that it completely blocks the Sun from Earth's point of view

  • Partial - the Moon is not lined up perfectly to completely block the Sun but does obscure part of the Sun, creating a crescent effect

  • Hybrid - very rare; this occurs when the eclipse changes "total" to "annular" and it is dependent on the location it is viewed (this occurred in April 2023!)

The first thing to know about solar eclipses in general is eye safety. You should never look directly at the Sun without proper eye protection and use equipment designed to observe the sun.


Where Can I See the Eclipse?

The best place to see an annular eclipse is in the path of the eclipse - meaning the areas impacted the most by the Moon's shadow. You will get the best view from the path and see something like the photo we shared above. Science and technology have allowed us to now predict the path of solar eclipses making it all more easy to plan for the event.

The path for the annular solar eclipse occurring October 14, 2023, will cross over North America in the west and southwest states of Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

In the image to the right, from Great American Eclipse, you will see the path highlighted and this indicates the areas with the best view of the eclipse where it looks like our example image above.

You can see the eclipse from other areas but it will not appear as above, just partially.

If you are fortunate to live in the path of an eclipse (all types) all you need is something to view the eclipse! If not, you may plan to travel to these areas, but be warned, lodgings in these areas get booked up far in advance.

Take a photo of a solar eclipse! Learn more by reading our post: How to Observe and Photograph an Eclipse.


Solar Eclipse Fun Facts:

  • A solar eclipse only occurs when the Sun, Moon, and Earth line up to produce a total, partial, or annular eclipse.

  • A solar eclipse happens only happens when the Moon is in a new moon phase.

  • It can take a long time for an eclipse to reach its peak, and when it does it may last only a few minutes.

Learn more about Earth's natural satellite by reading our Moon Phases post.


Prepare for an Annular Solar Eclipse

Again, if you live in an area where the path of the eclipse goes right over, all you need is the right equipment to view it. However, since folks are aware of upcoming solar eclipses they tend to plan ahead of time to view them. If you plan to travel to the path of an annular solar eclipse, make accommodations sooner than later to avoid disappointment. Make arrangements for the next eclipse or learn when all upcoming solar eclipses occur until 2100.

Tips for Eclipse Viewing:

  1. Prepare for it ahead of time! Preparation is key. You have the knowledge so just be wary that many people have the same thought to travel or purchase many solar eclipse glasses ahead of time which can impact your plans.

  2. Pick a spot to view the annular eclipse. This is worthwhile to research because an eclipse can take a long time to peak (see the actual eclipse). Find a place that you can stay in for long periods and settle in with chairs and snacks while you wait for the eclipse.

  3. Use gear designed for solar observation. Do not use equipment that is not certified as safe for viewing the sun. Equipment must be fitted with a solar filter or meets ISO 12312-2 standard because it protects your eyes from harmful UV and IR radiation, as well as reduce light in the lenses.

Kids watching solar eclipse

Lastly... Enjoy the experience!

Whether you are taking photos or just viewing the eclipse, don't forget to take a moment to look around at what the environment looks like.

This unique experience doesn't occur often so get mesmerized by the changes you see!

Love astronomy and photography? Combine the two and learn astrophotography! Read our Beginner Astrophotography Guide to learn how to get started!


Products to Safely Observe the Eclipse

You can view the eclipse in a couple of different ways, but the most important aspect is to know that your eyes will be protected from the Sun. Do not buy or use homemade filters or materials that are not created for solar observation. This can cause lifelong damaging effects.

For those eager to see an annular eclipse, know that solar eclipse glasses are the most affordable option. The best thing about them is you don't have to learn anything to know how to use them! You may also choose to buy solar equipment, but ensure you know how to use it. The first time you try should not be the day of the eclipse. Find out more about what equipment to use for a solar eclipse here (coming soon!).

Options for solar eclipse observation (there is a theme here):

  • Solar eclipse glasses

  • Solar telescope

  • Solar filter and camera

  • Solar filter binoculars

  • Solar filter and phone


Where to Buy Solar Eclipse Glasses

Eclipse glasses

You can purchase solar eclipse glasses online! You might find them in stores as well, but consider ordering them online and soon to ensure you receive them. Another perk of ordering online is that you have options for style or design, which might be important to you if you want to keep them as souvenirs. The one thing to look out for is that the solar eclipse glasses are compliant with ISO 12312-2 standards.

Or, you can purchase a pair of sunglasses from reputable astronomy companies, such as High Point Scientific. They also carry kits for observing! Find more about solar eclipse glasses here.

Want to learn how to observe the sun with a telescope? Take a look at our post for our recommendations: Best Gear for Solar Eclipses (coming soon!).


Final Thoughts

An annular solar eclipse is not just any celestial event - it's an opportunity to see a natural phenomenon that doesn't occur often. If you choose to observe an eclipse, ensure that you have the proper eye protection so you do not damage your vision. Never look directly at the Sun because it may cause damaging long-term effects.

If you are traveling to the path of an annular solar eclipse, be sure to do so ahead of time to make arrangements for your stay. Additionally, purchase your solar eclipse glasses in advance so you don't miss out on viewing the peak of the eclipse yourself. You can find pairs for yourself or in bulk through High Point Scientific. Also, don't forget to enjoy this incredible feat of nature!

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date with our work!

Clear Skies,

Galactic Hunter

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