COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A rare total solar eclipse will be visible in Ohio, weather permitting, on the afternoon of April 8, 2024, with the path of totality 124 miles wide crossing the northwest part of the state.

In the short term, an annular solar eclipse will happen next Saturday, Oct. 14. The path will run from coastal Oregon southeastward to Texas, Mexico and Central America. Ohio will experience between 30 and 40 percent coverage of the sun (more evident in the southwest part of the state), peaking around 1:07 p.m. EDT, according to NASA.

An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun near its farthest from Earth (apogee). During totality a bright “ring of fire” will briefly appear around the sun because the moon will incompletely blot out the solar disk at this distance from Earth. A partial eclipse resembling a crescent-shape will occur in Ohio for a few hours, with a smaller percentage of the sun blocked.

Columbus and Central Ohio Weather

Remember, never to look up at the sun during any type of solar eclipse or attempt to shield your eyes, due to a risk of permanent vision loss. The only safe way to view a solar eclipse is to use ISO-certified protective eyewear specifically designed for eclipse viewing. Peering through binoculars, a camera lens, or a telescope without an approved filter will also result in damage to your eyesight.

On Aug. 21, 2017, central Ohio witnessed a partial solar eclipse (86 percent at totality in Columbus). The following views were taken along the path of totality in Wyoming by Don Stevens, the director of Perkins Observatory at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware.

The sun is 400 times larger than the moon, so a total solar eclipse requires the moon to be 400 times closer to Earth than the sun.

The Great American Eclipse of April 2024 will begin in Columbus at 1:55 p.m. EDT, reaching peak coverage (99.7 percent) at about 3:15 p.m., and ending at 4:27 p.m. Areas in far northwestern Franklin County will achieve totality for more than a minute. A longer interval of “dusk” lasting several minutes will occur closer to the center of the path.

The last total solar eclipse visible in Ohio occurred in 1806, and the next one will not happen until 2099.