Eclipsed Radiance: Unveiling the Annular Solar Eclipse Over Boise

03.10.2023 posted by Admin

Boise, Idaho will witness an annular solar eclipse this October

As the sky darkens and the sun transforms into a fiery "ring of fire" later this month, rest assured that it's not the end of the world. What you'll witness is a rare event known as an annular solar eclipse, casting a shadow over the United States on the morning of October 14. This celestial spectacle marks the first annular solar eclipse in the United States since May 2012 and the first solar eclipse of any kind since the total eclipse in 2017. But what exactly is an annular solar eclipse, and what will it look like from the vantage point of Boise? Let's delve into it.

To understand an annular solar eclipse, we must first grasp the concept of a solar eclipse and what causes it. A solar eclipse occurs when the Earth, moon, and sun align in such a way that the moon positions itself between the Earth and the sun, partially obscuring the sun from the perspective of an Earth observer. This lunar alignment creates a shadow on Earth, often hundreds of miles in diameter, known as the "path of totality," as described by NASA. Within this path, the moon appears to completely cover the sun, resulting in a moment of profound darkness. However, even if you're not within this path, you can still witness the eclipse, although you won't experience the near-total darkness.

The most famous type of solar eclipse is the total solar eclipse, where the moon entirely conceals the sun. We had the opportunity to witness this in 2017 when the path of totality swept just north of Boise.

On the other hand, a partial eclipse occurs when the Earth, moon, and sun do not align perfectly. In this scenario, when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, it briefly transforms the sun into a crescent shape. Now, the third variety, an annular solar eclipse, is set to occur this month. According to NASA, an annular eclipse transpires when the moon lines up precisely between the Earth and the sun, but it remains too distant from Earth. From our perspective, this means that the moon won't fully cover the sun.

Instead, for those in the path of totality, the moon will align flawlessly with the sun, creating a blazing "ring of fire" around the darkened moon. Can you catch a glimpse of this annular eclipse from Boise? While all of North America will witness the solar eclipse to some extent, Boise is in close proximity to the path of totality, offering residents a remarkable view.

The path of totality initiates on American soil in western Oregon before embarking on a southeastern trajectory through northern Nevada and into Utah. Those fortunate enough to be within the path of totality will witness approximately 91% of the sun covered during the eclipse's peak, as reported by, with the remaining 9% forming the fiery ring. The partial eclipse will commence around 8:06 a.m. Pacific Time in Utah, with the annular eclipse reaching its peak at 9:20 a.m. PT, lasting approximately three and a half minutes. After the annular eclipse concludes, a partial eclipse will persist until 10:45 a.m. PT, by which point the moon will have entirely moved past the sun.

For those staying in Boise to witness the eclipse, the view won't be as spectacular as within the path of totality but will come close. Boise will experience an 84.6% coverage of the sun, with the partial eclipse commencing at 9:07 a.m. Mountain Time. The annular eclipse will reach its zenith in Boise at 10:24 a.m. and endure for several minutes before transitioning into a partial eclipse, which will continue until 11:47 a.m.

Predicting the weather almost two weeks in advance can be challenging for meteorologists, but early forecasts for October 14 in Idaho suggest cloudy conditions with possible showers. Now, what's next after the October eclipse? If you miss this month's eclipse or if the weather doesn't cooperate, the next solar eclipse in the United States is scheduled for April 2024. Regrettably, the path of totality for that eclipse won't come close to Boise. It will enter the United States via the Mexico-Texas border and proceed northeast, passing through Arkansas, Missouri, and the northeastern United States. Nevertheless, it will be visible as a partial eclipse for much of the northwest, including Boise, as reported by Time and Date.

Moreover, most of the United States will have the opportunity to witness two lunar eclipses in 2024. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth positions itself between the sun and the moon, causing the moon to take on a reddish hue. The first lunar eclipse will occur on March 24-25, followed by the second on September 17-18.
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