An annular solar eclipse is when the Moon perfectly aligns with and blocks the Sun. Due to its distance from the Sun, the Moon looks smaller, thus you can still see a ring of sunlight surrounding it. The eclipse is a unique sight, and you have to be in the narrow path of this alignment to witness it.
Though the Tri-Cities is not close to this path, we will still be able to see part of the Sun blocked by the Moon.
Special viewings of this partial solar eclipse will take place on Saturday, October 14 in downtown Kingsport and on the campus of East Tennessee State University. There will not be a special viewing at Bays Mountain Park.
The Kingsport Public Library will have two solar telescopes from the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club set up to view a magnified view of the Sun. The viewing will take place in Glen Bruce Park from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on October 14.
The ETSU Physics Department and the Bays Mountain Astronomy Club are partnering to provide safe, telescopic views of the Sun. The viewing will take place in the ETSU student parking lot on W. Walnut Street in Johnson City (across from the Johnson City Family Practice) from 11:46 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. on October 14.
If the weather is too cloudy or rainy, the viewings will be cancelled.
Whether you make it to a viewing or not, you may want to have your own solar glasses to dim the light of the Sun to safe levels. The gift shop at Bays Mountain Park has these glasses for sale for only $2 each.
Please Note: NEVER look directly at the Sun without proper protection.
“Eclipses are special events and the perfect fun for the entire family,” said Planetarium Director Adam Thanz. “Whether you can visit a place to view, use your own solar glasses or project with a colander, be safe and understand you are in direct alignment with the Sun, Moon and Earth.”