Ring of fire eclipse

A rare event in which the sun will appear as a thin ring behind the moon, will take place on Sunday May 20. This annular solar eclipse will be visible on western United States and eastern Asia.

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Eye safety during solar eclipses

It’s been almost two decades since a “ring of fire” eclipse was visible in the continental United States.

Solar eclipse explainedGlobal map of solar eclipse on May 20

Map credit: NASA

“The path of the annular eclipse will span “a 240 to 300 kilometer-wide (150-185 mile) track that traverses eastern Asia, the northern Pacific Ocean and the western United States,” according to the US space agency.

Solar eclipse path of western US coast on May 20Map credit: NASA

The eclipse will reach the coastlines of southern Oregon and northern California Sunday evening local time, at 0123 GMT Monday, and it should be visible in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas.

Path of the annular eclipse across China and Japan on May 20Map credit: NASA

This eclipse will be visible from China and Japan on May 21, 2012.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. This can happen only during a new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses only part of the Sun is obscured.

Eye safety during solar eclipses