Skywatchers in the United States are in for a rare treat on Saturday (October 14), when a "ring of fire" solar eclipse will be visible across parts of the country.
The annular solar eclipse will start at 9:13 a.m. PT as it passes from Oregon to Texas. It will end at 10:03 p.m. PT.
People living in the Northwest and Southwestern United States will get to experience the full splendor of the "ring of fire" solar eclipse, as the moon will completely cover the sun, creating a red-orange hue around the shadow of the moon. Those living in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas will have the best view, as will people living in parts of California, Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona.
The rest of the country will get to experience a partial eclipse as the moon passes between the Earth and the sun.
If you want to view the solar eclipse, you need to make sure you are wearing proper eye protection.
"Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury," NASA warns. "Do NOT look at the Sun through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while wearing eclipse glasses or using a handheld solar viewer — the concentrated solar rays will burn through the filter and cause serious eye injury."
To prevent injury, you must use specialized "eclipse glasses" that will block out most of the light from the sun. If you wish you view it using binoculars or a telescope or capture it on camera, you must get special filters to prevent damage to the equipment and your eyes.
You can also create your own solar eclipse viewer following this step-by-step guide from the Museum of Science in Boston.