A once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse will happen right in our backyard this weekend and one local college is welcoming the public to enjoy the spectacle like a true scientist.

The countdown is officially on for the rare "ring of fire" solar eclipse on Saturday and you'll have to wait decades to see the next one.

family watching solar eclipse

Where to Watch the Eclipse

The ring of fire eclipse begins Saturday, October 14, around 12:13 p.m. ET and will last about an hour, according to NASA.

New York will get to enjoy the show, but the best place to see the spectacle will be the West Coast.

Still, that's not stopping Hamilton College from rolling out the red carpet and letting people enjoy the celestial event to the fullest extent.

The campus is inviting the public to enjoy a free viewing event at their observatory this Saturday.

The event will be held at the Peters Observatory of Hamilton College on Peter's Lane in Clinton, New York.

Per the official invitation:

Please join us for the partial solar eclipse. The Moon will cover the Sun causing a bite to be taken out of the Sun. If the weather allows, we will get to watch through eclipse glasses, a telescopic projection, our many 4-inch telescopes, and the observatory’s larger 12-inch Meade telescope. Cookies and drinks will be provided!

It should be noted it is dangerous to view the solar eclipse with the naked eye.

Even just a few seconds of exposure to the sun's intense lights can cause permanent damage to the retina as well as retinal burns.

Girl looking at lunar eclipse through a telescope. My astronomy work.
Credit - m-gucci/Think Stock

So if you head on over to Hamilton and see someone handing out those swanky eclipse glasses, be sure you snag yourself a pair. Your eyes will thank you.

What Is The Ring Of Fire Solar Eclipse?

The "ring of fire" name comes from how it appears to the human eye.

The moon passes fully in front of the sun when it is at or near its farthest point from Earth. When all three celestial bodies line up, the moon will appear smaller than the sun, thus allowing a "ring" of bright light to shine around the moon.

Annular Solar Eclipse Observed
Getty Images

NASA is super excited about the upcoming event, with NASA program manager Dr. Kelly Korreck saying during a press conference last month:

This is a really unique event and why we're so excited about it is that the next total eclipse happens in April 2024 but then not again until 2044, and the next annular eclipse seen in this part of the country is actually going to be in 2046. It's going to be a long stretch that we will not see this phenomenon again.

Here's hoping the weather behaves on Saturday so we can see this breathtaking sight... because we'll have to wait 23 years to see the next one.

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