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  • Vinita Domier

Solar Eclipse on Saturday, October 14

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

By Vinita Domier (vcdomier@yahoo.com)

NASA Solar System Ambassador


Join the Davis Astronomy Club on Saturday, October 14, from 8:30am to 10:30am at Explorit Science Center (3141 5th Street, Davis) for a special gathering to observe a rare partial solar eclipse visible from Davis. All ages are welcome to this free outdoor event where we will observe the eclipsed Sun safely with specially equipped telescopes and solar eclipse glasses.

In addition, Davis Astronomy Club is inviting everyone on Saturday, October 7 to free special viewings of the highly active Sun from 10am to noon at Explorit. The Sun is approaching its current solar activity peak in 2024, resulting in spectacular sunspots and solar flares observable with solar telescopes.


For most western USA viewers, the October 14 event will be a partial eclipse of the Sun. It will be a spectacular event to observe, however, as the Moon will cover a huge portion of the Sun at eclipse peak. As at no time the Sun will be completely blocked, it should be viewed during the eclipse with proper eye protection or by projecting its image through a pinhole onto a white surface.


Solar eclipses occur when the Moon lines up between the Sun and the Earth during the new moon phase. The Moon’s shadow then eclipses or blocks out all or part of the Sun. Solar eclipses do not occur at every new moon as the orbits of the Earth and the Moon are offset by 5 degrees. The next solar eclipse visible from Davis will happen on April 8, 2024.


For Davis observers, the partial eclipse of the Sun will begin at 8:05 am on October 14. This is when the edge of the Moon’s shadow will first start to obscure the Sun while it is low in the eastern sky. Gradually, more of the Moon’s shadow will cover the Sun until maximum eclipse at 9:20 am. At the eclipse peak, 86% of the Sun’s surface will be hidden from view! Next, the Moon’s shadow will gradually move away to reveal more of the Sun until 10:43 am when the entire Sun will be visible again.


The duration of the October 14 partial solar eclipse, from start to finish, will be 2 hours and 38 minutes. During the first half of the eclipse, the sky will start to get noticeably darker, and the air will start to feel colder. Around the mid eclipse, the Sun will be a thin crescent. During the last half, the sky will gradually brighten, and the air will get warmer.


Observers in parts of some western states, who happen to be in the path of annularity, will actually see the Sun at maximum eclipse in the shape of a ring and not a crescent. An annular or ring solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is furthest from the Earth in its elliptical orbit, thus appearing smaller in the sky. At maximum eclipse, the Moon’s circular shadow obscures most of the central part of the Sun, leaving only a beautiful ‘ring of fire’ visible.


For more information about the Oct 14 solar eclipse, visit https://science.nasa.gov/eclipses/future-eclipses/eclipse-2023/ or contact Vinita Domier at vcdomier@yahoo.com.


Explorit's coming events:

• Extra public hours during Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks. Check out our website for more details https://www.explorit.org


• Now is a great time to donate and help Explorit continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow: https://www.explorit.org/donate


• A Membership to Explorit grants the recipient free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits to visit other museums throughout the world. To purchase or for more information visit https://www.explorit.org/membership or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.


• Now booking school programs for the newest school year. For more information, please visit https://www.explorit.org/programs. To reserve call (530) 756-0191.


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