Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) — On Saturday, October 14th, 2023 all of the contiguous 48 states will be treated to an annular solar eclipse. While the path of annularity will be an approximate 110 mile wide across the western U.S., Central Illinois will be treated to a partial eclipse.

The exact times the eclipse will occur will vary across the region but the eclipse will begin around 10:33 AM and end around 1:24 PM. During this time those who attempt to view the eclipse will experience near 50% of the sun being obscured by the moon.

Exact times for Peoria, IL

  • Partial eclipse begins: 10:33:26 AM
  • Maximum eclipse: 11:55:58 AM (48.5% of the Sun will be covered)
  • Partial eclipse ends: 1:23:07 PM

Here’s a simulation of how the eclipse would look for Peoria.

How to view the eclipse safely

Unlike a total eclipse, the Sun is never completely blocked by the Moon during an annular eclipse so it’s never safe to look at the sun without the proper eye protection. When viewing an annular eclipse you need to view it through a pair of safe solar glasses or a safe handheld solar viewer at all times. Regular sunglasses are not safe. Safe solar glasses/viewers are thousands of times darker and should comply with the 12312-2 international standard. Welding filters with a shade 12 or higher are also safe, though keep in mind most welding filters are much lower than 12.

If you don’t have the appropriate eye wear don’t worry, you can view it by using an indirect viewing method! You can make a pin hole projector by punching a pinhole into an index card, and with the sun at your back, projects an image of the Sun onto a nearby surface. Do not look at the sun through the pinhole!

You can make a more elaborate eclipse projector with a cardboard box (a large cereal box works), a white sheet of paper, tape, scissors and aluminum foil. To do this tape the piece of white paper to the inside end of the box. On the other end of the box cut out two square holes on opposite ends of the box, covering one end with aluminum foil and taping it down. Punch a small pinhole through the center of the aluminum foil. With the sun at your back, look through the open square towards the piece of white paper in the box and move around until you see a shadow projection of the sun.

Eclipse projection viewer
Source: NASA

Annular eclipse vs total eclipse

Annular eclipse
Occurs when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, an eclipse will occur. However, if there’s too much distance between the Moon and Earth or to short a distance between the Moon and the Sun, then the Moon will not be able to block out the Sun completely. This leaves a ring of fire around the moon that will be visible to those in the path of annularity.

Total eclipse
Like the annular eclipse, this happens when the Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun. However, if the Moon is close enough to the Earth, and/or the Sun is far enough away from the Moon, the sun will be completely obscured by the Moon. During these eclipses viewers in the path of totality can remove their protective eyewear and see the Sun’s corona.

Total eclipse of 2024

A total eclipse will move across the country on April 8th, 2024, and for the second time in less than seven years, the path of totality will move over southern Illinois. Similar to total eclipse in 2017, this will be partial eclipse for Central Illinois with more than 90% of the Sun covered.