A Ring of Fire will soon be seen over West Texas. It’s nothing scary — on October 14th, Midland will have a prime view of an annular, also known as a “Ring of Fire” solar eclipse.
Midland, Texas, is located just east of the eclipse centerline, where the annularity lasts the longest, meaning you’ll be able to see and enjoy the eclipse longer than other locations in the eclipse path. In the downtown Midland area, stargazers can experience the Ring of Fire for just under five minutes – just seconds short of the maximum duration anywhere in the US.
This particular eclipse is characterized by the ‘ring of fire’ that appears to surround the moon when the sun is directly behind it. This happens when the moon is perfectly positioned between the Earth and the sun. In Midland, the eclipse will begin at 10:18 a.m., peak around 11:45 a.m., and end by 1:21 p.m.
To celebrate this amazing annular experience, the Blakemore Planetarium at the Museum of the Southwest is throwing an Eclipse Day event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Experience the eclipse and stick around to see their special guest, retired NASA astronaut John Herrington, speak at the Helen Greathouse Discovery Dome at 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. and hear about his space adventures.
The Blakemore Planetarium has also partnered with STEM educators, NuMinds Enrichment, McDonald Observatory, and Texas Tech’s Physics Department to offer kid-friendly activities throughout their Eclipse Day event.
Remember – you should never look directly at the sun, even when there is only a ring. Be sure to swing by Midland Visitor Center for a complimentary pair of eclipse-viewing glasses. Glasses will also be available for purchase at the Blakemore Planetarium to see the Ring of Fire safely.
This October, instead of focusing on what’s underground in the Permian Basin, Midlanders will be fixing their gaze toward the sky for this incredible celestial circle. Join us on the path of annularity! The Eclipse Day event is presented by Chevron, and all activities are free, but please RSVP here.