‘Ring of Fire’ Eclipse Will Darken South Dakota and the U.S. This Month
Hey, remember back in 2017 when a total solar eclipse swept across the United States? On the big day, Sioux Falls missed lots of the fun because of a thunderstorm. Well, we've got a couple of second chances coming up.
On October 14, 2023 a Ring of Fire solar eclipse will move from Oregon, over the Rockies, then through Texas. Then, in April 2024 a total eclipse of the Sun will draw a dark line over parts of the Midwest.
The United States will experience solar eclipses in 2023 and 2024
A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. The moon's shadow then brings darkness to parts of Earth.
Ring of Fire Solar Eclipse of October 14, 2023
"An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth when it is near its farthest point from Earth. At this distance, the moon appears smaller than the sun and doesn't cover the entire face of the sun. Instead, a ring of light is created around the moon." - Space.com
Will South Dakota Get Dark During the October 2023 Eclipse?
South Dakota won't see total darkness. But, we'll for sure know what's going on. It will still get pretty dark. But, wouldn't it be so cool to be at the Four Corners or Santa Fe, NM when the eclipse passes?
April 8, 2024, North American Total Solar Eclipse
In April 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross Texas again, but this time moves northeast across the United States through the Midwest, then up through New England. The eclipse starts in Texas around 1:27 pm CDT and will end in Maine around 2:35 pm CDT.
This event will be a total solar eclipse because the sun and moon will line up just right.
"A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely obscuring the face of the sun. These solar eclipses are possible because the diameter of the sun is about 400 times that of the moon, but also approximately 400 times farther away" - Space.com
South Dakota's experience in 2024 should be similar to the 2023 eclipse. Not total darkness, but the streetlights may come on. Still pretty cool. And scientists say that this one will end up being quite a few minutes longer that the eclipse in 2017.
Before the eclipse in 2017, the last time the U.S. had a total eclipse was in 1991 when one cut across Hawaii and Mexico. Before that, the last total eclipse on the mainland was in 1979, when the sky darkened in the northwestern USA.
Scenes from the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse
Gallery Credit: Getty Images