The 51st annual Balloon Fiesta is just two days away, and during this year’s event, an annular eclipse will be visible from New Mexico. This type of eclipse does not happen often, so it is not one to miss. However, viewers will want to make sure they are looking at the eclipse safely.
Jim Greenhouse, the space science director at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, has some viewing tips, as well as information on the museum’s eclipse-related events. The Museum of Natural History and Science has been operating since 1986, providing some of the most extraordinary collections, research, exhibits, and programs in the state.
Greenhouse explains that the upcoming eclipse is the result of a handful of coincidences. Firstly, the eclipse will be going directly over the City of Albuquerque. The sun will appear as a “ring of light” right at around 10:34 a.m. on Saturday, October 14. Secondly, the eclipse will be visible on the last Saturday of Balloon Fiesta, right as the mass ascension will be ending.
To view the eclipse safely, make sure to view the sun indirectly; eclipse glasses are a great way to do that. For those who do not have eclipse glasses, there are ways to make viewing contraptions at home, as well as a handful of places in New Mexico that are offering eclipse viewing sites; to view the full list of sites, click here.
Leading up to the eclipse, the museum will be hosting a series of events. Included in the Natural History Museum’s planned events are its Solar Family Afternoon series of educational sessions. On the morning of the eclipse, the museum will have telescopes, activities, videos of the eclipse from various locations, and more. To learn more, visit nmnaturalhistory.org.