How does the experience of an annular solar eclipse compare to a total solar eclipse? In particular, what does it look like to take a glimpse of an annular solar eclipse with the naked eye? How dark does the ambient light in the enviornment become compared to a total eclipse? I have personally seen a total solar eclipse, and I was impressed by how dark the environment became and how the sun appeared. Does an annular solar eclipse have similar features?

EDIT: Thanks for the input so far, everyone. The related question, Will just a glimpse (less than a second) of sun during partial solar eclipse damage eyes?, is good to know, but not quiet the same question I am asking. I've edited my question for greater clarity. @notovny's comment answers my question. It seems that the moon cannot be discerned with the naked eye (when quickly glimpsed). Nor is the darkening of the ambient outdoor light as impressive as a total solar eclipse.

I saw the '17 total eclipse and was awed. I had been expecting the same experience for the '23 eclipse, but just recently realized that an annular eclipse is not the same as a total eclipse. I was curious how much I needed to temper my expectations. Sounds like I should not be expecting the same level of awe.

Safety note: I understand it is very dangerous to stare at an annular eclipse with the naked eye. I intend to only glimpse the sun for a moment. I have purchased special solar eclipse viewing glasses for prolonged viewing.

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    $\begingroup$ I saw the May 10, '94 Annular Eclipse, at near the point of greatest eclipse. I recall the light getting pretty silvery outdoors, but still fairly bright. I don't recall being able to discern the Moon in front of the sun by the naked eye, and made my inspections of the sun through the ludicrously unsafe method of looking through a household frisbee. $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ Even with a total solar eclipse the Sun goes from black to too bright to look at in a matter of seconds. You will need eclipse glasses to view it at all. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2023 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ @GregMiller I have to ask, have you actually ever seen a solar eclipse? Based on your comment it seems you haven’t, they can last for many minutes $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 0:08
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    $\begingroup$ @Topcode, I got to see the Aug 2017 eclipse. Totality lasted for over two minutes, but as soon as totality was over, it quickly became too bright to look at. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 4:34
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    $\begingroup$ Does this answer your question? Will just a glimpse (less than a second) of sun during partial solar eclipse damage eyes? $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 13:34


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