Seven years after the highly publicized total solar eclipse took place above North America, Coloradans are gearing up for another celestial spectacle.
On October 14, 2023, an annular eclipse is set to grace the skies, creating a bright ring around the moon as it passes between the Earth and the Sun.
While it may not be a total blackout, this event promises to be a remarkable and awe-inspiring sight.
This upcoming annular eclipse will traverse the southwest corner of Colorado, offering a unique viewing experience for those willing to embark on a road trip to this remote and stunning part of the Centennial State.
NASA’s maps indicate that the optimal viewing location lies southwest of Durango, with Cortez being the largest town directly in its path. Cortez is renowned as the gateway to Mesa Verde National Park, adding an exciting layer to this celestial event.
Mesa Verde National Park is bracing itself for a surge in visitors on that Saturday when the moon is poised to pass in front of the Sun, forming a rare ‘ring of fire’ over this ancient and enigmatic landscape.
In the late 13th century, Mesa Verde was inhabited by the Ancestral Pueblo people, who created remarkable cliff dwellings that continue to intrigue and inspire visitors today.
The experience of witnessing the annular eclipse from the path that cuts through the state’s southwest corner will be markedly different from what most of Colorado will observe.
On October 14, the rest of the state is projected to experience around 80% obscuration, including Denver at 78.7% and Colorado Springs at 80.8%.
However, fortunate spectators can anticipate a more spectacular and unobstructed view in the southwestern corner.
According to Seth Boster of The Gazette, the eclipse will commence its celestial dance over Mesa Verde slightly before 9:15 a.m., according to TimeandDate.com.
A Celestial Extravaganza: Colorado’s Mesmerizing Ring of Fire Eclipse
The entire eclipse, characterized by the mesmerizing ring of fire, will begin at 10:31 a.m. and endure for an astonishing four minutes, providing a profound and unforgettable celestial encounter.
The moon is expected to exit the opposite edge of the Sun soon after noon, marking the conclusion of this extraordinary event.
While witnessing an annular eclipse is undoubtedly captivating, it is crucial to prioritize safety.
NASA strongly recommends keeping eclipse glasses on throughout the event, emphasizing that “the visible part of the Sun during annularity is tens of thousands of times brighter than what you see during totality.”
These glasses are specially designed to protect your eyes from the intense solar rays and ensure a safe and enjoyable viewing experience.
The upcoming annular eclipse on October 14, 2023, presents an extraordinary opportunity for residents and visitors in Colorado to witness a celestial phenomenon of rare beauty.
While it may not be a total solar eclipse, the “ring of fire” effect promises to be a breathtaking spectacle.
For those willing to make the journey to the state’s southwestern corner, the rewards will be even more remarkable, with Mesa Verde National Park providing a historic and awe-inspiring backdrop.
Remember to prioritize safety by keeping your eclipse glasses on, and get ready for a memorable celestial road trip adventure in Colorado.
Source: The Denver Gazette