A special celestial event (an annular solar eclipse) is going to occur on Saturday, October 14, 2023.
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon is too far away from Earth to completely block out the sun. This results in a "ring-of-fire" appearance, which is basically when we have a ring of light around the moon which is blocking out the sun.
The path of the annular solar eclipse (where the sun is 90+% covered by the moon) is going to pass through states like Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas.
In Montana, we are going to have a partial solar eclipse on October 14th as about 55% to 75% of the sun is going to be blocked out by the moon, with the moon blocking out more of the sun the further southwest in the state you go.
The annular solar eclipse is going to occur during the mid to late morning on October 14, 2023.
The partial eclipse will begin at 9:13am MDT and will end at 11:50am MDT in Great Falls, MT.
The maximum eclipse will occur at 10:28am MDT in Great Falls.
The exact times of when the partial eclipse and maximum eclipse occurs will vary by a few minutes depending on your location in the state.
Cloud cover is going to be an issue in some areas on Saturday. The further east in Montana you are, the better the viewing will be with mostly to mainly sunny skies expected. The further west in the state you are, the more likely it is that clouds will hamper the viewing as mostly cloudy skies are expected in western and southwestern Montana. I
n central and north-central Montana, partly cloudy skies are expected, so the eclipse should be visible at least at times during the morning.
Also, as a reminder, please make sure you do not look directly at the sun with your eyes! Instead, make sure you wear solar eclipse glasses that are compliant with ISO 12312-2. Solar eclipse glasses are available at some retailers.
Best of luck to everyone on Saturday, and if you snap any amazing solar eclipse photos, then make sure to send them our way!