Now is the time to begin planning where you will watch the solar eclipse passing over Utah. This eclipse will happen on October 14th and will cross over the middle of the state. I have been a part of several eclipses in my lifetime, and they are not to be missed.
The moon will begin to cross the sun at approximately 9:08 AM (MST) and finish by noon, with the annular totality (the “ring of fire”) occurring at around 10:28 AM. This magic moment should last about three minutes but might be longer or shorter based on your location. The closer you are to the center of the path, the longer the “ring of fire” will appear in the sky.
If you want to have the full experience, you should start planning now before someone takes your spot at your favorite campground. The good thing is, where it will cross the state is pretty wide open. You should be able to find a place to view it without much problem. If you are in the Salt Lake area or St. George at the bottom of the state, you will only see part of the eclipse as the moon moves over the sun.
This is an annular solar eclipse, meaning the moon comes between the earth and the sun when it is at its furthest distance from it. That means the moon won’t totally block out the sun, but there will be a ring of fire.
You should never look at an eclipse, even if it is fully blocked. You should never look directly at the sun anyway, it’s not good for your eyes, man. Luckily, there are special glasses to let you see it. These are better than the lame tin foil contraption we made in grade school that just showed you the shadow. You cannot wear regular sunglasses. It will still damage your eyes.
You can order the glasses online and many local businesses will offer them as well. If you are a business and want people to come to your place for glasses, you are running out of time. Get those suckers ordered and let people know you have them.
Last time, I grabbed a welding mask from my father-in-law and took a look with that big helmet on. It’s cool to see the ring of fire, but I think it is just as cool to see everything around you go dark in the middle of the day. We are so used to the sun doing what it does, it is disorienting to see it go dark in a clear blue sky.