How to safely watch this weekend’s ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse

Oct 9, 2023, 1:02 PM | Updated: 1:09 pm

A crowd uses handheld solar viewers and solar eclipse glasses to safely view a solar eclipse. (Nati...

A crowd uses handheld solar viewers and solar eclipse glasses to safely view a solar eclipse. (National Park Service)

(National Park Service)

SALT LAKE CITY — The next annular solar eclipse is happening on Saturday, and hundreds of thousands will have the chance to see the “ring of fire.” However, scientists are reminding eclipse chasers that there is no safe time to look directly at the sun during this eclipse.

When is the eclipse?

This year’s annular solar eclipse takes place on Saturday, Oct. 14. The moon’s shadow will pass over parts of Utah between 9:30 a.m. and 10:35 a.m. The closer you are to the middle of the eclipse’s path, the longer it will last. Parts of southwestern Utah will see a “ring of fire” for almost five minutes, while those who view the eclipse along the edges of its path will see the ring for around two minutes.

The path of the 2023 annular solar eclipse. (Michael Zeiler, GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

How to safely view the 2023 solar eclipse

“Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury,” NASA said.

Regular sunglasses, no matter how dark they are, are not safe for viewing the sun. To view the eclipse, you will need safe solar viewers that comply with the ISO 12312-2 international standard.

“Do NOT look at the Sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury,” NASA added.

If you don’t have eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can use an indirect viewing method. One way is to use a pinhole projector, which has a small opening (for example, a hole punched in an index card) and projects an image of the sun onto a nearby surface.

The only alternative to solar eclipse glasses that NASA and the American Astronomical Society say are safe are welder’s glasses rated 14 or higher. If you have an old welder’s helmet around the house and are thinking of using it to view the eclipse, make sure you know the filter’s shade number. If it’s less than 12 (and it probably is), don’t even think about using it.

Where to find eclipse glasses

Utah stores are in short supply of compliant eclipse glasses with the celestial event just a few days away. A handful of Amazon listings offer shipping options that would arrive in Utah before Saturday — but the American Astronomical Society recommends buying from a verified manufacturer or reseller after counterfeit glasses flooded the marketplace in 2017.

The Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City is also selling glasses for $3, and they have thousands of pairs.

Some Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart locations sell ISO-compliant safe eclipse glasses and/or handheld viewers made by American Paper Optics, an American Astronomical Society-approved manufacturer.

Future eclipses

Utah will see a partial solar eclipse in April, with 40%-60% of the sun blocked by the moon. Utah will also see partial eclipses in January 2028, January 2029, March 2033, June 2039 and April 2043.

The path of the 2024 total solar eclipse. (Michael Zeiler, GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

An August 2044 partial eclipse will near totality, but the big ticket will be the Aug. 12, 2045, total solar eclipse. It will pass over the Beehive State between I-80 and I-70, giving millions of Utahns a perfect view of the eclipse.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Matt Gephardt

How hoarding documents puts you at risk for identity theft

Someone who knows what they’re doing can do a whole lot of damage with the scraps of paper you’ve stashed in filing cabinets, drawers and other various hiding places around your house.

5 hours ago

Dilawar Syed, Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration and the highest-ranki...

Erin Cox

Highest ranking Muslim in the U.S. visits Utah to help small businesses

Dilawar Syed, Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration and the highest-ranking Muslim in the U.S. paid a visit to the Beehive State Tuesday.

5 hours ago

The Burger King where Taylorsville Police arrested Rodolfo Martinez-Avila. (KSL TV)...

Pat Reavy, KSL .com and Garna Mejia, KSL TV

Police: Abused homeless 4-year-old boy gets help, thanks to fast food workers

A 4-year-old boy and a 6-month-old baby were helped by Burger King employees who called police after they realized the children were homeless and being abused.

6 hours ago

Handcuffs in a jail cell. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...

Mary Culbertson

Inmate found unresponsive in Cache County Jail, pronounced deceased at scene

An inmate at Cache County Jail was found unresponsive in his cell, and pronounced dead.

6 hours ago

FILE - Chad Daybell is on trial for the murders of his wife Lori Vallow Daybell's two children, Jos...

Lauren Steinbrecher

Defense: Chad Daybell didn’t steal money from wife’s dead children

Chad Daybell's trial continues on Day 5, as the court discussed evidence that possibly connects Daybell to insurance fraud, with funds that were meant for Lori Vallow Daybell's murdered children.

7 hours ago

Délice French Bakery and Café is getting ready for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, Italy, the home co...

Shelby Lofton

French bakery in Utah ramping up for Paris 2024 Summer Olympics

The owner of Délice French Bakery and Café in Salt Lake City is preparing for the Olympics in his home country.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

How to safely watch this weekend’s ‘Ring of Fire’ solar eclipse