The 2012 annular eclipse, which puts the moon directly in between Earth and the sun on Sunday, is the first of its kind since 1994.
(UPDATED: You can now WATCH the eclipse via LIVE STREAMING video on our Live Video page)
It won’t be a total eclipse, though, because the moon is closer to Earth than usual. Instead, you’ll see a “ring of fire” around the moon. This phenomenon occurs twice per year, but is usually only visible by a small fraction of the Earth’s surface.
An annular eclipse occurs when the moon, slightly more distant from Earth than usual, moves directly between Earth and the sun, thus appearing slightly smaller to observers’ eyes. The effect creates a bright ring, or annulus of sunlight also called a “ring of fire,” around the perimeter of the moon.
This 2012 solar eclipse will be visible in China and Japan on May 21 and, for the first time in 18 years, by continental western states, California, Nevada, and Arizona. The East Coast will miss out on the party, as the sun will have already set there.
For those of us here in the east, we’ll have to wait for the total eclipse in 2017.
If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of history, be sure to heed mom’s advice. If you don’t have a solar filter, a pinhole projector, or some special solar-safe viewing glasses, you should refrain from staring or you might risk damaging your vision.
Here are the viewing times for the 2012 “Ring of Fire” annular solar eclipse:
Northern California 5:10 p.m. PDT
Nevada 5:18 p.m. PDT
Utah 6:22 p.m. MDT
Arizona 5:24 p.m. MST
New Mexico 5:28 p.m. MDT
Colorado (southwest portion) 6:24 p.m. MDT
Texas 7:30 p.m. CDT
More in the video below:
UPDATED: You can now WATCH the eclipse via LIVE STREAMING video on our Live Video page.
- Partial phases of May 20-21 solar eclipse will be cool, too (earthsky.org)
- Rare annular solar eclipse to take place Sunday ()
- Annular solar eclipse this weekend: where to see it in the skies, and online (boingboing.net)
- Watch ‘Ring of Fire’ during Monday’s solar eclipse (ibnlive.in.com)
- Solar Eclipse: ‘Ring of Fire’ Coming Sunday (newsfeed.time.com)