Two eclipses for Chicago over the next six months

Chicago will have the opportunity to view two rare celestial events over the course of the next six months. 

The first will be this Saturday's annular eclipse. The second event occurs next spring with a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. The Adler Planetarium is a great place to learn about and safely observe these astronomical wonders. 

Never look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse. There are solar viewing glasses and other alternatives to observe these phenomena

In the case of both an annular and total solar eclipse, the moon passes between the earth and sun to cast a shadow on our planet. The moon doesn't completely block out the sun during an annular solar eclipse. So tomorrow's eclipse will leave a "ring of fire" around the moon where the greatest coverage will be about 91% well west and southwest of Chicago. 

The shadow of the moon will be moving at over 1000 mph over the earth.

The maximum coverage here will be about 43%. If we are lucky enough to have skies clear tomorrow, we will see what looks like a bite has been taken out of the sun by the moon. 

The eclipse will begin here at 10:37 a.m. Saturday and reach its maximum at 11:58 am. The eclipse will end at 1:22 pm.

Downstate Illinois, which will be closer to the path of annularity, will see between 50% to 60% coverage Saturday. 

The coverage next year on April 8 downstate will bump up to 100%. The total eclipse next spring will occur because the moon will be closer. The shadow of the moon then will be traveling at over 2000 mph.