Update: The Chicago Astronomer event has been canceled due to weather.
On Saturday, Oct. 14, Chicago astronomer Joe Guzman advises Chicagoans to turn their eyes to the skies — but only with proper protection — to witness a partial solar eclipse in advance of April 2024’s total solar eclipse.
“These solar events are called annular eclipses, in what is referred to as the ‘ring of fire’ display,” Guzman said. “Unfortunately, Chicago is not in the path of maximum coverage for this event, but we will experience a partial solar eclipse, meaning that the moon will take bites out of the sun as it passes between us for two hours and 45 minutes.”
Guzman said the event will begin at 10:37 a.m. on Saturday, with maximum coverage at 11:58 a.m.
“The moon will cover the sun for a maximum of 42% and you just may notice an ever so slight decrease in the sun’s light and a drop in temperature at this time of maximum coverage,” he said.
But make sure to take the proper precautions before attempting to watch the eclipse, Guzman said.
“Solar events are very dangerous to observe,” Guzman said. “Never use sunglasses, wrappers or other non-approved solar eyewear. Only use certified solar glasses to look directly at the sun. Also never … point an unfiltered telescope or binoculars toward the sun. Immediate damage will occur to your eyes.”
Guzman and his Chicago Astronomer were planning to host a free eclipse viewing event at the western trailhead of the 606 Trail, 1805 N. Ridgeway Ave., but it has been canceled due to weather.
“You can also project the image of the sun through tiny holes poked through foil cardboard or other handy media you may have laying around,” Guzman said. “Face away from the sun and allow the light to shine through the pin holes onto a sheet of white paper, and you will observe little small eclipse crescents. Also, look around to the ground during the event near trees — the leaves will act as mini projectors and display the eclipse crescents for you.”
Note: For additional opportunities to view the partial solar eclipse, check out “5 Things to Do This Weekend: Open House Chicago, Partial Solar Eclipse Viewing Events.”