ALABAMA (WIAT) — On Saturday, an Annular Solar Eclipse will occur, but the best views of it will be over the western half of the country.

This type of eclipse is when the moon moves between the Earth and the Sun, but the moon is too far away from Earth to totally block the sun. Therefore, you get a “ring of fire” around the moon. A Total Solar Eclipse occurs when the moon is closer to the Earth and totally blocks the sun.

What to expect across Central Alabama

Across Central Alabama, we will only see about 55-60% of the sun blocked by the moon. The eclipse will start around 10:00 a.m., the peak will be at 12:08 p.m. and it will end by 2:00 p.m. This will also occur during the Alabama game vs. Arkansas.

How to view the eclipse

It is important to NEVER look directly at an annular solar eclipse without proper eye protection. You will need special eclipse glasses to view the sun. Regular sunglasses will not work since they are not dark enough. You can purchase these special glasses online. Make sure you are buying legitimate products. Look to see if they comply with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for filters to directly view the sun. If they comply, they will have the ISO logo on the glasses.

How to make your own safe way to view the eclipse

You can make your own device to watch the eclipse without ever looking at the sun. Just take 2 pieces of paper or paper plates. In the middle of one of them poke a pin-size hole. Then hold the paper with the pin-hole in it about 6 inches over the other piece of paper. When you look at the bottom paper you will see the eclipse.

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