LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The countdown is on to the annular solar eclipse as the path for the eclipse will slide through several states including Nevada, where Las Vegas residents can catch a partial eclipse.
Jim Fahey from the Astronomical Society of Nevada said some people mispronounce it as an “annual eclipse,” but it doesn’t happen every year.
“Annular refers to the Greek as a circle and this is when the moon is far away from the Earth and its orbit and it doesn’t cover the sun completely. If you’re in the right spot, you can get a ring of fire of the sun around the moon,” Fahey said.
Since the moon is a bit farther away from Earth, it won’t fully cover the Sun like a total solar eclipse.
Fahey said many people have been flocking to scenic spots up in Northern Nevada for maximum view.
“It’s very difficult to get a room in a motel and those trying to get on a campsite will be a hard thing to do but being out in the wilderness but those people who can camp will have an easier time,” Fahey added.
It’s also important to protect your eyes during this event as eclipse blindness can happen when your eyes are exposed to the sun, damaging your retinas.
Optometrist Dr. Jacquie Bowen is the Vice President of the American Optometric Association and she said people may not feel eye damage immediately.
“So if you have an extra dose of UV light to which that part of retina is exposed, your risk of central vision lost is much higher,” Dr. Bowen explained. “I wish the eyes would sting and be red right away immediately in the day’s following but much of that time the damage is so insidious and it might be a while before it takes effect so being wise about how to view the eclipse beforehand and staying very consistent with getting an eye exam on a regular basis.”
That’s why wearing eclipse glasses is key as it blocks all ultraviolet rays and almost all visible light.
“If you have eclipse glasses and they appear not to be working, take a look at the sun before the eclipse to see if it’s safe, and absolutely do not use binoculars or a telescope,” Fahey said.
The next annular eclipse after 2023 won’t be visible until 2046.
For more on eclipse times, click here.
For more on where you can get eclipse glasses, click here.