The annular solar eclipse of October 14, 2023,, is one of only two such events in Mexico in less than a year. Since the first happened, the second eclipse is is now total. It’s only a few months until it happens. next April 8, 2024, where the country will be one of the best places to appreciate it.
This is due not only to the trajectory it will have but also to the fact that it will have some of the best locations and durations from all over the continent, making it the most attractive place to see it.
Everything you need to know about the eclipse
The first thing to know about this eclipse is that it is a general phenomenon, that, one in which the moon passes between the sun and the earth, thus completely blocking the face of the star and darkening the sky as if it were dawn or dusk.
During a total eclipse, viewers can briefly remove their eclipse glasses, specially designed for these events, while the event can be safely appreciated in the “AROUND” phase, that is, the short time during which the Moon completely blocks the Sun.
Yes, to see all phases of the eclipse, from the partial to the whole and back to the partial, it is necessary to find yourself somewhere along the path of the whole.
In the case of Mexico, it takes place in the states of Durango, Coahuila,, and Sinaloa, in cities such as Mazatlán, Durango, Torreón, and Monclova. Those outside of this trajectory, they can only appreciate the eclipse partially, where the moon covers most of the sun but not all of it.
This is a total solar eclipse
According to NASA, total solar eclipses have several phases. It all started as a partial eclipse, where the sun is not completely covered and takes the shape of a crescent, in a phase that lasts on average between 70 and 80 minutes.
An amazing fact is that when the Moon “touches” the Sun for the first time, it is known as “first contact.“.
As the moon continues to approach the sun, you can observe many points of light that shine around the edges of the moon. These points are known as “Bailey beads,” rays of sunlight streaming through the valleys along the satellite’s horizon.
Baily’s beads on the total solar eclipse
These beads have a very short life, and it is possible, according to the space agency, that they won’t last long enough for all observers of the total solar eclipse to notice them.
Eventually, the Baily beads begin to disappear, until a bright spot remains at the edge of the moon’s shadow, giving. the effect of a diamond on the tip of a giant ring that is formed in the rest of the sun’s atmosphere.
When the diamond ring disappears and there is no direct sunlight, this is the moment when observers will be able to remove their eclipse glasses and see the event safely to the eye because totality will be reached.
The diamond ring before the total solar eclipse
This moment is known as “second contact,” where the audience can see the chromosphere, the region of the solar atmosphere that appears as a thin pink circle around the moon, and the corona, that is, the outer solar atmosphere, that appears as streams of white light.
Since the total lasts a few minutes, it is necessary to be careful to protect your eyes again and wear eclipse glasses before the end of this period, which takes between two and up to four and a half minutes, depending on the location in Mexico.
NASA recommends that, in general, you observe not only the sun but also your surroundings, because it is possible to see the sunset as well, especially bright stars or planets in the dark sky.
At this stage, the air temperature will also drop and there will be an eerie silence, according to the agency, because animals make their activities seem nocturnal, and this may create deep emotional responses in people.
Since the moon never stops moving across the face of the sun, a light appears again on the opposite side from where the diamond ring shone in the beginning.
This is the last warning that you must stop looking directly at the eclipse, so it must be done from this moment on using special lenses or indirect methods. This stage is called “third contact.“.
The final stages of the eclipse will follow, showing the diamond ring, Baily’s beads, and finally the sun. When none of the sun is covered by the moon’s shadow, it is called “four contacts. What is the moment when the eclipse is completely over?