Annular Solar Eclipse – “Ring of Fire”
Witnessing a solar eclipse is an unforgettable event, but when it’s the annular solar eclipse, then it may be a once in a lifetime experience. In this eclipse, the moon does not completely cover the sun. When it is perfectly centered as a concentric circle within the circle of the sun it creates the effect known as the “ring of fire”.
Beth and I drove from Denver to Albuquerque with our friends Jim and Bev to experience this event. Albuquerque is the largest city in the western US that was directly on the “annular track”. We tried to prepare for this occasion by searching for special eclipse glasses to protect our eyes. Every place in Denver was sold out. Santa Fe, New Mexico had none. Then we discovered that the University of New Mexico Observatory in Albuquerque would be giving out 2000 pairs of protective glasses to those who attended their solar eclipse event. That became our destination!
We arrived at the observatory, joined the throng of thousands, and were fortunate enough to obtain glasses for the four of us. The celestial show started minutes later. First contact of the moon touching the sun was at 6:28p, full totality and annular ring of fire was 7:36p. What a sight!
Our eclipse solar shadows were unlike any shadow we have ever experienced. The altered shape of the sun’s glow gave our shadows strange, elongated and curved shapes.
As the sun and the moon set together in an unearthly embrace over the horizon, we wandered back to our car feeling that we had experienced an event of a lifetime.