With only nine days to go you will need to get your eclipse glasses ready!! That’s right, next Saturday, October 14, 2023, you will be able to start gearing up for the 2024 total solar eclipse by viewing the 2023 annular eclipse happening at approximately 10:00 am next Saturday. Just grab your glasses, go outside, and look up! Through your eclipse glasses, you will start to see the moon beginning to cover the sun and by 11:00 a.m. those watching from Perry County and surrounding areas will see anywhere from a 55% to 60% partial phase of the annular eclipse. Those who are in the 130-mile-wide path stretching from Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizonia, Colorado, and Texas will witness the Ring of Fire. The major difference between an annular eclipse and a total solar eclipse is that you wear your eclipse glasses the entire time during the annular eclipse. At no time can you safely remove your glasses while watching the annular solar eclipse, but it will most definitely be worth the time you take to see it. You may notice that the sky will grow dim due to the annular solar eclipse, but it will not go dark like it done in 2017 for the total solar eclipse.
Considered a “warm up” for the total solar eclipse once you have experienced the annular eclipse you can start making your plans for the total solar eclipse happening in just six short months on April 8, 2024. Will you watch it from home, at school, or from work? Will you have friends and family over or will you go to someone else’s house to experience it? If you are working, will you have eclipse glasses so you can take breaks and step outside? What about glasses for your friends and co-workers?
Many have already started making plans to host farm or house eclipse viewing parties. Some schools and businesses have already made the decision to be closed on eclipse day. For our out-of-town eclipse chasers who are actively scouting for the perfect location to travel to for the weekend or day trips, they are among us. Yes, they have been visiting our area as early as last year, last month, and even last week! Some of our tourist friends that have been visiting our local historical sites and cultural museums are also here looking around at our public viewing sites and local areas for the perfect eclipse experience location in Perry County. They are coming from as far away as California, New Jersey, Louisiana, Canada, and France.
Just remember, whether you plan to be at home or not next Saturday, grab your glasses so you can check out the sun and the moon during the annular eclipse either at home or wherever you are! The Perryville Welcome Center located at 508 N. Main Street Perryville has certified eclipse glasses available if you can’t find yours from 2017.