City Cast

How To View the Annular Eclipse

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on October 11   |   Updated on October 12
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory catches a partial solar eclipse in space.

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory catches a partial solar eclipse in space. (NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center/Flickr)

An annular eclipse is happening on Oct. 14, and while D.C. is nowhere near the heart of the eclipse, you’ll get a glimpse. At 1:18 p.m., around 30% of the sun will be covered by the moon. Here’s what you need to know about the “Ring of Fire.”

⭕️ What’s an Annular Eclipse?

An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, when it’s at its farthest point from Earth. It creates a “ring of fire”-looking effect, with the moon covering the sun. In D.C., we see the sun become a crescent shape as it is partially covered.

⭕️ Viewing Tips

It’s not going to last long — only about 2.5 hours, from around 1 p.m. to 2:30-ish. The peak will be at 1:18 p.m.

Don’t stare directly at the eclipse without proper eye protection, as it can cause permanent eye damage. A regular pair of sunglasses (or even 10) won’t work; you need special solar eclipse glasses. You can also view it with a DIY binocular setup, but be careful!

⭕️ Eclipse Extravaganzas

The National Air and Space Museum is hosting an eclipse-themed family event from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., with safe solar viewing gear, music, demonstrations, planetarium shows, and more. The museum’s center in Chantilly will also be hosting a viewing party with a filtered telescope.

Three parks in Fairfax will also have sun-spotting gear and community games as you wait for the big event. And if you want a really good view, head to the Greenbelt Observatory.

This segment was inspired by a piece written by City Cast Salt Lake’s Terina Ria.

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