Navajo Tribal Parks will be closed during the solar eclipse

Monument Valley Tribal Park (Stock photo)

Monument Valley Tribal Park (Stock photo)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The Navajo Tribal Parks have announced they will be closed Oct. 14 for the annual solar eclipse.

A solar eclipse will be visible across most of the U.S., including eight states from Oregon to Texas, but you won’t be able to see it from a few key places after all.

All Navajo Tribal Parks will be closed from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. MDT because of the Navajo cultural beliefs surrounding the event. This includes Monument Valley Tribal Park, Four Corners Monument Navajo Tribal Park and parts of the Tséyi’ Diné Heritage Area in Canyon de Chelly National Monument. Local businesses may also be closed.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is positioned between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow over the Earth. Because of the moon’s slightly elliptical orbit around Earth, at two points each month it is farthest and closest to Earth, making it appear slightly smaller and slightly larger than average in the sky.

During an annular solar eclipse the moon will look relatively small and only over about 90% of the sun’s disk, leaving a thin outer ring often called a “ring of fire.”

In Navajo culture, an eclipse is a new beginning. The Navajo word for a solar eclipse jóhonaa’éí daaztsą́ means “the death of the sun” according to Navajo traditional teachings. During a solar eclipse, many Navajo people will remain inside, fasting and praying. When the sun returns, it’s considered a new birth and a recognized time to make resolutions.

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