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Annual Solar Eclipse

On October 14, 2023, nature will put on a breathtaking spectacle as an annular solar eclipse, also known as the “ring of fire,” graces the skies over eight states, including the captivating Monument Valley.

Nestled within the heart of Navajo Nation, this iconic location promises an unforgettable viewing experience amidst its stunning landscapes and majestic red rock formations. Goulding’s Tours is ready to help you witness this extraordinary event, so mark your calendars for an unforgettable experience!

What is an Annular Eclipse?

According to NASA, an annular solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth while at its farthest point from Earth. During this type of eclipse, the visual size of the Moon is slightly smaller than the Sun. 

Unlike a total solar eclipse, where the Sun is entirely covered, an annular eclipse provides a unique spectacle. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, the Sun’s bright outer edges remain visible, creating a striking ring-like effect.

The eclipse will take place in four phases:

  1. Partial Eclipse: The Moon passing in front of the Sun creates a partial eclipse, gradually blocking more light and making the Sun appear as a smaller crescent until it forms a “C” shape.
  2. Annularity: About 1 hour and 20 minutes after the partial eclipse starts, the Moon will completely cover the Sun, leaving a ring-shaped appearance known as annularity. Depending on the location, this phase will last between 1-5 minutes. The sky will darken, though not as much as during a total solar eclipse.
  3. Return to Partial Eclipse: The Moon will continue passing across the Sun’s face for about an hour and 20 minutes, producing another partial eclipse phase.
  4. Partial Eclipse Ends: The Moon continues to move until it no longer overlaps the Sun.

When to View the 2023 Eclipse

You must be in the right place at the right time to see the eclipse. 

According to National Eclipse, on October 14, 2023, the centerline of the eclipse will enter Utah at approximately 9:10 MDT, with annularity (ring of fire) beginning in that location at about 10:23 am MDT. The centerline of the eclipse exits the state at approximately 12:01 MDT, with annularity coming to an end at about 10:34 MDT.

How to View an Annular Eclipse

First, because the Moon never entirely covers the Sun, it is essential to prioritize safety while viewing the sun. The intense brightness can cause serious eye damage if not viewed properly.

Here are some essential safety tips for watching the solar eclipse:

  1. Solar Eclipse Glasses: Invest in a pair of solar eclipse glasses from reputable vendors. These special glasses are equipped with solar filters that block harmful ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation. Goulding’s Lodge will have glasses available for purchase for both lodge guests and visitors during this event.
  2. Solar Filters For Telescopes and Binoculars: If you plan to use a telescope or binoculars, make sure to attach appropriate solar filters over the lenses to protect your eyes.
  3. Solar Viewing Apps: There are smartphone apps designed specifically for safe solar viewing. These apps use the phone’s camera to project an image of the sun onto the screen for you to observe safely.
  4. Eclipse Viewing Events: Consider attending organized eclipse viewing events or tours led by experienced astronomers and professionals who provide safe viewing and expert guidance. 

You will also want a clear view of the Sun and Moon to see the eclipse. However, if there is cloud cover, you will still be able to notice the darkness that falls as the Moon passes in front of the Sun.

The weather in Monument Valley at this time of year has a high chance of being ideal for viewing the eclipse while also providing a stunning natural backdrop.

Plan Your Trip Today

If you’ve been considering a trip to Monument Valley, now is the perfect opportunity for your adventure to culminate with this extraordinary celestial event.

The ideal viewing conditions and the breathtaking natural backdrop make it the perfect destination to witness this celestial marvel. So mark your calendars and plan your trip to Monument Valley today.