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Annular Solar Eclipse

CREDIT: sancho_panza/Wikipedia

On May 20th, 2012, some people in the western U.S. will be treated to a very unique solar eclipse. During the eclipse on May 20th, the moon will be near apogee (when it is farthest from the earth). At about 250,000 miles away, the moon won't appear big enough to block out the entire sun.  So we have an annular eclipse.

To view the annular eclipse you have to be in the narrow path of annularity. For the May 20th eclipse, this path goes from northern California, through Nevada, southern Utah, northern Arizona and New Mexico. And finally the annular eclipse ends when the sun sets over west Texas.

So cities like Eureka, California, Reno, Nevada, St. George, Utah, and Albuquerque, New Mexico will have a perfect view. The farther away you are from this path the less of the eclipse you'll see. But pretty much everyone west of the Great Plains will see at least a partial solar eclipse.

And if you can't see the solar eclipse on May 20th in person, be sure to go check out the webcast right here. The eclipse will begin 5 pm thru 7:45 PM Pacific Time or 8 thru 10:45 PM EDT, so tune in then!

Additional Resources:

Stardate. org

Eye Safety During Solar Eclipses

Making a Pinhole Projector to View Eclipse

MSNBC article

Eclipse Chasers

Huffington Post

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