GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Two solar eclipses are set to pass over North America in the coming months, and one will collide with another key event: a college football Saturday.
Both the Wolverines and Spartans will be in action when the eclipse rolls by on Oct. 14.
According to NASA, the sun will be obscured by about 35% over the course of the eclipse in Ann Arbor. It will start just before noon – minutes before Michigan kicks off against the Indiana Hoosiers at the Big House. It will wrap up around 2:20 p.m.
The Spartans will be on the road in Piscataway, New Jersey, taking on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Since they will be further away from the eclipse’s direct path, approximately 20% of the sun will be blocked. In Piscataway, the eclipse will start around 12:15 p.m. and conclude around 2:30 p.m.
A solar eclipse is the moment when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, blocking the sun’s light. Because the moon is much smaller, it cannot completely cover the sun, but it can cast quite a shadow for a 100-mile wide area in the direct center of the eclipse. That area is called the path of totality and moves across the planet’s surface as our planet rotates.
These areas get the darkest during the minutes when the sun and moon are completely aligned. It is not pitch black, but it appears like night for a few minutes during the middle of the day.
The path of totality for the Oct. 14 eclipse will pass over the southwestern portion of North America, starting in south Texas and working its way northwest, covering Corpus Christi, Texas, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Eugene, Oregon, among others.
Experts say it is unhealthy for your eyes to look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse. Scientists recommend certified eclipse glasses or a handheld viewer.
Another total eclipse is expected to cross North America on April 8, 2024. This one will move northeast, crossing Mexico and Texas, the Great Plains and the southern portion of the Great Lakes region. Detroit is forecast to be just north of the path of totality. West Michigan will see approximately 95% of the sun obscured during that eclipse.