Ring of Fire: How to safely watch the spectacle

Ring of Fire

Saturday, if the weather cooperates and you’re in the right spot, you will be able to experience a solar spectacle.

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The annular solar eclipse will create a Ring of Fire in the sky. Unlike a total eclipse, the moon is at its farthest point from Earth, so it can’t block out the whole sun. A fiery ring from the sun will surround the moon.

The annular solar eclipse will appear over North, Central and South America and won’t be seen again in those regions until 2046, NASA said, according to CNN. There is another annular solar eclipse on June 21, 2039, but only Alaska will be able to see the Ring of Fire then.

There also will be a total solar eclipse next year, on April 8.

In the U.S., Saturday’s eclipse will be on a narrow path best seen from Oregon to Texas. Other areas will see a partial solar eclipse, but they won’t see the Ring of Fire, NASA said.

How to watch it safely?

NASA said don’t look directly at the Ring of Fire. You will need either eclipse glasses or a solar filter to look at “an uneclipsed, partially eclipsed, or annularly eclipsed Sun.”

Eclipse glasses should have a certification that they’re ISO 12312-2 compliant, CNN reported. Sunglasses do not offer enough protection.

Do not use a camera lens, telescope or binoculars while wearing the eclipse glasses as solar rays can burn through the filter on the glasses since the rays are concentrated and cause severe eye damage, CNN reported.

If you don’t have eclipse glasses or a solar filter, you can also use a pinhole projector to indirectly watch the eclipse.

Lance Bass helped spread the word on how to safely watch the Ring of Fire. As NASA posted on social media, “Don’t say ‘Bye, Bye, Bye’ to your eye, eye, eyes.”

Heliophysics Big Year

The Ring of Fire helps kick off NASA’s Heliophysics Big Year, a “global celebration” that shines a light on the science of the sun and its influence on Earth as well as the solar system. The Heliophysics Big Year runs from now until December 2024.