Skip to main content
Next US Total Solar Eclipse (Apr 8, 2024)

Guide to the 2023 Annular Solar Eclipse

map showing the 2023 path of annularity
Guide to the 2023 Annular Solar Eclipse


Find out how to see the eclipse at its fullest and witness the incredible ring of fire.


Be ready.

On October 14, 2023, an annular eclipse will be visible in the continental United States. In the morning, the moon will cover the face of the Sun, so that the Sun appears in the sky as a single ring of light, known as the ring of fire.

annular eclipse, ring of fire, seen from the ground
Credit: Kevin Baird


Be on the path of annularity.

To witness the incredible ring of fire, you will need to be within the 125-mile path of annularity. The path begins over the Pacific Ocean and will make landfall in Oregon. The path arches from Oregon to Texas; then it will continue south through Central America to Brazil.  Unless you’re on that line—the path of annularity—you’ll only see a partial eclipse. The closer you are to the center of that path, the longer annularity, the maximum point of the eclipse, will last.

The whole event will take about three hours, but annularity will only last about five minutes.

map showing path of annularity from Oregon to Texas, through Central America to South America


Need more details? This Google Map, developed by Xavier Jubier, allows you to zoom into the eclipse path. Remember that the closer you are to the centerline (blue on the Google map) the longer annularity will last.


Be (probably) not in your hometown.

Most towns in the US aren’t on the path. If you stay home, you’ll likely only see a partial eclipse. Make your travel plans early, as hotels and campsites can book up fast!

map showing the 2023 path of annularity in the United States
Credit: Michael Zeiler,


Be aware of the time.

The shadow of the moon goes through several time zones. Check the local time to ensure you don’t miss the ring of fire, which only lasts about five minutes. To determine the precise start time, end time, and duration of annularity for your exact location on eclipse day, use this interactive eclipse map developed by


Be where the Sun shines, until it doesn’t.

Find a sunny location along the path, or the clouds will hide the Sun before the moon does. According to predictions, your best bet for clear skies is in the American Southwest. Check out in-depth weather predictions from Eclipsophile.


Be prepared.

You will need eclipse glasses to safely view the Sun. We also highly recommend that you gather up colanders, slotted spoons, or anything else with small holes (you can poke holes in a piece of cardboard), because the eclipse will make very cool shadows. Check out our safe-viewing page for tips on building other kinds of viewers.

crescent-shaped shadows on the ground created during an annular eclipse
An annular eclipse will create crescent-shaped shadows during the partial phases and ring-shaped shadows during its maximum period (annularity).


Be with an astronomer.

Find someone who has a telescope and knows how to use it. You can watch the eclipse with your eclipse glasses, but a telescope—with the proper, safe filter!—will make viewing the eclipse even more amazing. If you don’t have a buddy with a telescope, check at your local library or museum for special events. And be sure to download the free Exploratorium app (for iOS and Android). We will be streaming the live views from four telescopes. That way, you can stand in your backyard, watch with your own eyeballs (using your eclipse glasses), and check out the close-up telescope views on your phone.


telescope view of a partial eclipse compared to a partial eclipse view from the ground

LEFT: This is an example of the close-up imagery that you can see from the telescope feed on our livestream. (Exploratorium)

RIGHT: This image shows that the sun in the sky will look relatively small, and not allow for you to see any close-up details. (NASA/Josh Krohn)


Be watching our livestream.

If you can’t make it to the path of annularity, you can watch the livestream right here on this website. Why not share the fun and host an eclipse-watching party for your friends?!