This week on Star Watch, we are talking about a solar eclipse that can be seen across the United States on Saturday, Oct. 14.

But let’s answer the question of what a solar eclipse is.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and the earth. This creates a shadow that the moon casts on the surface of the Earth as it blocks the sun’s light.

This type of solar eclipse is called an annular solar eclipse. This is when the moon covers the center of the sun but the edges of the sun will still be seen, creating “a ring of fire” around the silhouette of the moon. The “ring of fire” will be able to be seen in the eclipse path from southwestern Oregon, through Nevada and Utah and southwestern Texas.

The rest of the country will see a partial eclipse, meaning that only a part of the sun will be covered as the moon passes.

Our region will see a partial solar eclipse beginning at 11:47 a.m. In Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, we will see about 54% of the sun covered by the moon. We will see the maximum coverage of the sun at 1:12 in the afternoon. The partial eclipse will come to an end around 2:41 p.m. 

It is very important to wear appropriate eye protection when viewing the eclipse.