NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — There are two significant solar eclipses occurring in the United States over the next six months. The first is an annular eclipse, happening Saturday, Oct. 14. The second (and more powerful), is the total solar eclipse, coming up on April 8, 2024.

What is a solar eclipse?

Solar eclipses happen when the moon passes between the sun and Earth. This creates a shadow onto the earth that partially or fully blocks the light of the sun.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks the light of the sun, darkening the sky for people on Earth who are in the shadow’s path (Courtesy: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

There are three types of solar eclipses: total, annular, and partial. During an annular eclipse, the moon is at its farthest distance from Earth, creating a ring around the moon as the sun shines (a ring of fire), thus making it dark for a period of time.

WKRN types of eclipses.

Where’s totality?

The path where totality is expected will be from the West Coast (Eugene, Oregon) to South Texas (Corpus Christi, Texas). The partial eclipse begins after 8 a.m. Pacific time, with totality (annularity) around 9 a.m.

WKRN Annular eclipse: areas where 100% totality will occur.

What will Middle Tennessee see?

In our region, expect a partial annular eclipse (between 50% and 60% from north to south) on Saturday.

WKRN Annular eclipse: the Ohio Valley/Tennessee Valley to experience 50% to 60% totality.

In Nashville, the partial eclipse will begin at 10:38 a.m. Central time, with the maximum eclipse just after noon and the overall partial eclipse ending before 1:40 p.m.

WKRN Annular eclipse: Nashville timeline.

Middle TN annular eclipse weather forecast

The weather will undoubtedly be cooler and breezy, but clouds are possible during this partial annular eclipse. Morning showers should be coming to an end by 10 a.m. for most areas. While we should see clouds clear, another round of clouds could move in from the northwest, impacting viewing for some locations.

  • WKRN Future Tracker: Valid Saturday 10/14 at 7 AM.
  • WKRN Future Tracker: Valid Saturday 10/14 at 11 AM.
  • WKRN Future Tracker: Valid Saturday 10/14 at 1 PM.
  • WKRN Future Tracker: Valid Saturday 10/14 at 4 PM.
  • WKRN Future Tracker: Valid Saturday 10/14 at 9 PM.

Safety during the solar eclipse

You should never directly look at the sun, even if you have sunglasses on. You’ll want to purchase eclipse glasses or solar viewers. Be sure the glasses comply with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for filters for direct viewing of the sun.

Libraries across Tennessee and Kentucky may offer solar glasses to view from the library property. See this map for the libraries in your area.

Finally, you can make your own eclipse viewers. This will project the sun’s image on a piece of cardboard or paper. This will avoid all eye contact with the direct sunlight. See this video tutorial from NASA.

Don’t forget to take the power and reliability of the WKRN Weather Authority with you at all times by downloading the News 2 Storm Tracker app.