As Earthlings, we have the privilege of ooohing and aaahing at total solar eclipses, those dazzling celestial events in which the moon blocks the sun’s light from hitting our planet. But is Earth the only world in our solar system that experiences this spectacular phenomenon?
The answer is no. Total solar eclipses can happen on other planets too, as long as they have moons that are big enough to cover the sun’s disk from the planet’s perspective and orbit the planet on the same plane as the sun, astronomers told Live Science.
WHEN TO WATCH
New York City: The eclipse starts at 5:49 p.m. ET. The eclipse will still be going on as the sun sets at 6:03 p.m. ET.
Washington: The eclipse starts at 5:52 p.m. ET. The eclipse will still be going on as the sun sets at 6:17 p.m. ET.
Chicago: The eclipse starts at 4:36 p.m. CT. The eclipse will be at its maximum at 5:43 p.m. CT and the sun will set while still in eclipse.
Denver: The eclipse starts at 3:18 p.m. MT. The eclipse will be at its maximum at 4:35 p.m. MT and will end at 5:44 p.m. MDT.
Los Angeles: The eclipse will start at 2:08 p.m. PT. The eclipse will be at its maximum at 3:28 p.m. and will end at 4:40 p.m. PT.
Millions of people across North America could have a chance to observe a partial solar eclipse next week, weather permitting. Although the Oct. 23 partial solar eclipse may not be as spectacular as a total eclipse, it is still a beautiful and interesting event to witness. The sight of the moon gradually moving across the face of the sun fills most people with awe.
The best views of the eclipse will be in the north, in Alaska and the Canadian arctic, but everyone in North America should see some of it, except in the extreme northeast of the continent. In eastern North America, the eclipse will only be visible near or at sunset, so a low western horizon is essential. Venus is very close to the eclipsed sun, but you will probably need to block the sun from view to spot it.