October 2, 2023
775 W. Baseline Road
Lafayette, CO 80026
Lafayette Learns: The "Ring of Fire" Annular Eclipse
Monday, October 2, 2023
Adults and older teens - join us for Lafayette Learns, a monthly program that allows community members to expand their minds with informative programs. Tonight, join Dr. Gianna Cauzzi, of the National Science Foundation’s National Solar Observatory (Boulder), for a presentation about two upcoming rare astronomical events that of interest in the American Southwest: the annular solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023, and the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
We will discuss facts about solar eclipses - why they happen, what to expect, how to best observe them, as well as propose a "best course of action" for people living in our area. Further, we will provide a bit of information about the science that can be done during an eclipse: while the solar corona is routinely studied with ground and space observatories, a total eclipse still provides unique opportunities for scientific discoveries.
This presentation is geared towards adults and older teens, but all are welcome!.
Both annular and total solar eclipses are caused by the same physical phenomenon, i.e. the Moon positioning itself straightly between us and the Sun. However, for the October 2023 event, the Moon’s size in the sky will be slightly too small to completely cover the solar disk, with a thin ring of solar light remaining visible around the Moon. Hence...the catchy name of a “Ring of Fire” eclipse.
This annular eclipse on Oct. 14 will sweep the United States along a narrow path stretching from the Pacific Coast in Southern Oregon through Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas (as well as small corners of California and Colorado), making it visible to millions of Americans. While the sky will not completely darken like during a total solar eclipse, the annular eclipse will produce a host of interesting effects, including a very reduced light level, the landscape taking on a metallic gray-blue hue, sharper shadows, etc. In Boulder County, the Oct. 14 eclipse will be seen as partial, with a maximum coverage of about 80%; this will be sufficient to experience many of those same effects.