Millions of us across the Western Hemisphere will see a ring of fire effect in the sky on Oct. 14., a rare planetary alignment when the moon will line up ever so perfectly between the Earth and the sun. This annular solar eclipse differs from a total eclipse, which is when the moon fully blocks the sun. This will be the last “ring of fire” eclipse seen in the U.S. until 2046.
Though Philadelphia is not within the path of totality (which this time will stretch from Oregon to Texas in the U.S.), expect to see a partial eclipse around noon ET through about 2:30 p.m.
Regardless of how much (or how little) we’ll be able to see on the East Coast, and unlike Johnny Cash once sang, don’t fall into this ring of fire — it’s not safe to look directly up at the sun. But there are some ways you can safely and indirectly experience this event:
Make a Pinhole Camera
A pinhole projector, or a camera obscura device, projects an image of the sun onto a nearby surface. You can make one of these with supplies you likely already have at home. If you’re a visual learner, check out this video. If a pinhole is not your thing, the American Astronomical Society has a few more suggestions for optical projection.
Visit the Da Vinci Science Center in Allentown
About 60 miles north of Philly, the center will be hosting an all-day “Science Under the Stars” event that includes guest speakers, special telescopes for safe viewing, and a workshop on creating your own pinhole viewer.
Watch from the Comforts of Home
NASA will host live coverage of the eclipse at 11:30 a.m. on their website, the NASA app, and streaming from their Facebook, X, and YouTube accounts. You can also track the annular solar eclipse from NASA’s interactive app.