‘Ring of fire’ solar eclipse Sunday

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A solar event, 18 years in the making, will have people in Central Texas looking to the skies Sunday.

The moon is set to slide across the sun causing a ‘ring of fire’ event just before sunset. Although Central Texas will be in the path for optimal viewing we won’t see the peak of the event because of our sunset .

It’s an annular solar eclipse, in which the Moon will cover as much as 94% of the sun. The last similar solar eclipse visible in the United States happened 18 years ago, in 1994.

The eclipse will be visible from the Asiatic before creeping across the Pacific into the Western U.S.

The 3 ½ hour event will cross Southwest Oregon, Northern California, central Nevada, southern Utah, Northern Arizona, New Mexico and finally into the Lonestar state. Experts say the ‘ring of fire’ phenomenon lasts around five minutes, depending on where you are viewing it from.

The ‘ring of fire’ solar event will traverse a span of 8,500 miles, those outside of the narrow band will see a partial eclipse.

If you plan to view the eclipse don’t stare directly into the sun as serious damage to your eye can occur. Use of specially designed solar glasses, or simple homemade solutions like punching a pinhole in a cardboard box, are recommended.

Another event, the transit of Venus is expected to cross over the viewable path of the sun two weeks from Sunday.