The 2023 annular “ring of fire” eclipse

An annular solar eclipse will occur on Oct. 14, giving students the opportunity to view the “ring of fire.” This type of eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, appearing slightly smaller than the sun and creating a ring of light around it.

In order to see the eclipse, many will make the trip to southern Utah to view it from the path of annularity, the regions where the eclipse is most visible in its entirety. For students looking for a clear view, there are three national parks to head for: Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef. SUU Outdoors will not be hosting a viewing party, but T-Birds can go on their own adventure to view this unique solar event.

Since events like this do not happen very often, anticipation is great, which can lead to some not being fully prepared for the experience. Those who wish to have the best view should make sure to take the correct precautions, including watching with solar eclipse glasses or through camera and telescope lenses with solar filters.

There are four different types of eclipses, all of which appear differently. A total solar eclipse — which will occur on April 8, 2024 — happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the sun, while a partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth but does not perfectly line up. Lastly, there is a hybrid solar eclipse, which is when an eclipse shifts between annular and total. Each eclipse follows a path of totality in which the moon’s shadow is tracked across Earth’s surface. 

While events like this only happen occasionally, students have many chances to get outdoors in southern Utah with its unique red rocks and canyons to explore. Those searching for more opportunities to experience the beauty of SUU’s backyard can visit SUU Outdoors.  

Author: Anna Mower
Photos courtesy of Michael Zeiler,
Editor: Lily Brunson