Just for the record, there are four different types of solar eclipses. You've got a total eclipse, an annular eclipse, a stand-along partial eclipse, and the rarest of all, the hybrid eclipse.

According to a piece at TravelQuestTours.com,

There are always at least two solar eclipses per year; five in any one year is possible, but extremely rare. Over a 5,000 year period, the occurrence of three of the four solar eclipse types is quite even: 35% are stand-along partials, 33% annulars, and 27% totals. To emphasize their rarity, less than 5% of all solar eclipses are hybrid.

So, what are we looking at this coming Saturday morning? We're going to see (assuming the weather cooperates) an annular eclipse. Space.com says that an annular solar eclipse happens when the moon appears relatively small in the sky so it does not fully cover the disk of the sun, leaving a thin outer ring often called a "ring of fire."

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Sure, All That Stuff Is Interesting And All, But Will Northern Illinois Residents Be Able To See It Happening On Saturday Morning? Because If We Can't, This Is A Waste Of Time

I'm certainly not trying to waste your time (as far as you know), so let's get to some of the specifics regarding Saturday's annular eclipse. First off and foremost, the answer to the question of whether or not we'll be able to see the eclipse here in Northern Illinois is a firm and definite maybe.

All of North America, except for northwest Alaska, will get to see at least a partial solar eclipse. On the west coast, 9 states will be along the path of the maximum eclipse, which stretches from Oregon to Texas. The Moon will cover 90% of the Sun during the maximum eclipse.

Total Solar Eclipse phases. Composite Solar Eclipse.
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Here In Northern Illinois, We've Got A Couple Of Things Working Against Us Seeing The Eclipse On Saturday

The first one is that we're not on the west coast. The second problem is going to be weather conditions in our area on Saturday.

Although the people living in the western portion of the U.S. will get a better view (meaning more coverage of the sun by the moon), here in Illinois we'll see about 50 percent coverage during the eclipse...assuming the predicted rainy conditions on Saturday, and particularly Saturday morning, don't totally ruin it for us.

Assuming that we're not totally covered in clouds and rain on Saturday morning, your best chance of seeing the eclipse is to head outside at around noon (the exact time that our viewing should be optimum is 11:58am)

LOOK: The states with the most UFO sightings

For each state, we’ve also included details of famous UFO sightings in that state. Of note is that almost three-quarters of all UFO sighting reports in the United States occur between 4 p.m. and midnight, and tend to peak between 9 and 10 p.m. Food for thought next time you're out scoping for alien life. Keep reading to see which states have had the most UFO sightings.

Gallery Credit: Nicole Caldwell & Matt Albasi

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Fuel your offbeat travel dreams. Stacker found the coolest hidden wonders in all 50 U.S. states (plus D.C.) using data from Atlas Obscura.

[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

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