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2023 & 2024 Solar Eclipse

Updated: Nov 21, 2023


Annular Solar Eclipse

On Oct. 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central, and South America. Visible in parts of the United States, Mexico, and many countries in South and Central America, millions of people in the Western Hemisphere can experience this eclipse.

An annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth while it is at its farthest point from Earth. Because the Moon is farther away from Earth, it appears smaller than the Sun and does not completely cover the star. This creates a “ring of fire” effect in the sky. On Oct. 14, 2023, the annular eclipse will begin in the United States, traveling from the coast of Oregon to the Texas Gulf Coast. Weather permitting, the annular eclipse will be visible in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as some parts of California, Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona. For those in Iowa, this solar eclipse will still be visible as a partial eclipse. Because the Sun is never completely covered, observers must wear proper eye protection at all times while watching an annular eclipse. The annular eclipse will continue on to Central America, passing over Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Panama. In South America, the eclipse will travel through Colombia before ending off the coast of Natal, Brazil, in the Atlantic Ocean. Total Solar Eclipse A full totality eclipse will occur on April 8th, 2024. The total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States, and Canada. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk. People along the path of totality will see the Sun’s corona, or outer atmosphere, which is usually obscured by the bright face of the Sun. Iowans will still be able to experience this solar phenomenon even outside the path of totality, which will result in viewing a partial eclipse of the sun. The annular eclipse will continue on to Central America, passing over Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Panama. In South America, the eclipse will travel through Colombia before ending off the coast of Natal, Brazil, in the Atlantic Ocean.

Image credit: National Eclipse.com


An eclipse season is one of only two periods during each year when the Sun, the Moon, and Earth are aligned, allowing eclipses to occur. Each season Lasts about 35 days and repeats just short of six months later.


After the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2023, the next total solar eclipse that can be seen from the contiguous United States will be on Aug. 23, 2024.

We can’t normally see the corona, the Sun’s outer atmosphere, because the Sun’s surface below is so much brighter. But during a total solar eclipse, the corona emerges, offering unique opportunities to study it.
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