The differences between the solar eclipses on October 14 and April 8

Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 2:13 PM EDT
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Two separate solar eclipses will be visible from North America, including from here in Northwest Ohio. While the two share the title of solar eclipses, they are quite different in their type and commonality.

An annular solar eclipse occurs during the apogee new moon phase, in which the moon is located farther from the Earth along its ellipse, providing a “ring of fire” effect. A total solar eclipse occurs during the perigee new moon phase, in which the moon is located closer to the Earth along its ellipse, with the moon’s surface covering the entirety of the sun.

On Oct. 14, in the early afternoon, an annular solar eclipse will occur. However, from Northwest Ohio, it will be seen as a partial solar eclipse, as the path of annularity is located in the southwest United States.

On April 8, in the afternoon, a total solar eclipse will occur. The path of totality is drawn directly through the state of Ohio, and the 124-mile-wide path stretches from Toledo down to Columbus.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, only 21 total solar eclipses have crossed the contiguous United States. This makes the total solar eclipse on April 8 a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle with the path of totality passing right through Northwest Ohio.

One can safely view solar eclipses using solar filter glasses, which can be purchased from multiple retailers.