Utah’s Sky To Feature The Annular Solar Eclipse

The Annular Solar Eclipse, as referred to by NASA, will sweep across North America on October 14 and many of Utah’s State and National Parks are located within the direct path of the eclipse, providing some of the most incredible viewing locations in North America.

Also known as a “ring-of-fire eclipse,” an annular eclipse occurs when the moon blocks out the center of the sun, leaving a glowing ring around the moon’s silhouette. Since Utah is well-known for its internationally certified Dark Sky parks, places and stargazing, the state has created an annular solar eclipse guide to help travelers visiting Utah prep for the unforgettable astronomical event.

Go on a guided UTV night ride with Ticaboo Adventure Center at Ticaboo Lodge on the hundreds of miles of desert trails in Bullfrog Basin for a unique Utah dark sky experience. Whether you rent a SXS/UTV from the adventure center or bring your own OHV mode of transportation, guides can show you all the trails and sites waiting for you to explore.

The sun is never completely blocked by the Moon during an annular solar eclipse. Therefore, during an annular eclipse, it is never safe to look directly at the sun without specialized eye protection designed for solar viewing. You can also use an indirect viewing method, such as a pinhole projector.

Eclipse Viewing Tips

  • It is never safe to view an eclipse without proper eye protection. And standard sunglasses won’t cut it — look for certified eclipse glasses or solar viewers that have been approved by the American Astronomical Society.
  • When choosing an eclipse viewing spot, keep safety and preparation in mind. Avoid stopping on the highway and be aware of surrounding cliff terrain or wildlife. If you’re venturing into a remote area, you’ll want to research your route and take into account the abilities of everyone in your group (Read: How To Stay Safe in the Outdoors). You’ll also want to avoid areas where obstructions might be in your line of sight, and note that higher elevation can increase cloud coverage.
  • The duration of annularity — when the moon is fully silhouetted against the sun — can vary depending upon your viewing location, even within the same city. To determine the precise duration of an exact location, check out this interactive eclipse Google map developed by author and astrophotographer Xavier Jubier.
  • These Utah counties are forecasted to have viewing locations with a duration of four minutes or more: Beaver, Garfield, Juab, Millard, Piute, San Juan, Sevier, Tooele and Wayne.
  • Utah is on Mountain Time, so be sure to adjust your clock to the correct time upon arriving in the state.
  • The eclipse is scheduled to enter Utah around 9 a.m. MT, with annularity beginning roughly around 10:20 a.m. MT. The eclipse exits the state around noon MT.
  • The direct path of the eclipse in Utah passes over scenic forest, mountain and desert landscapes. Views promise to be spectacular, but remember to be prepared for limited services in these remote areas. Expect small towns with fewer resources, lots of wilderness area and intermittent cell service.

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