Today, an annular solar eclipse will occur all the way from Thailand, across the pacific, and ending in Texas. Here is a map of the projected path of the eclipse from NASA.
This map shows the path of the Annular Solar Eclipse of 2012 May 20 . The northern and southern path limits are blue and the central line is red. The yellow lines crossing the path indicate the position of maximum eclipse at 10-minute intervals. -NASA
So what exactly is an annular solar eclipse anyway?
- Sun and moon are directly in line
- Apparent size of moon is smaller than the sun, creating a vivid ring of fire around the border
- Viewed along the red line in the map eclipse will appear to be a near total eclipse, only a small ring will be visible bordering the moon More…
In the United States, the eclipse begins around 5:30 p.m. PDT and if you’re near the center-line of the eclipse, which runs from Northern California through Northern Texas, for about 4.5 minutes you’ll be able to see a “ring of fire”.
Pay attention to the shadows during this event as they are said to cast odd ring shaped shadows on the ground. If you are hoping to photograph the eclipse, look into a Solar Filter to protect both your eyes and your camera. And bare in mind, despite the blocking of the sun the rays will still be just as intense. Do not stare directly into the sun!!!
Graphic of an Annular Solar Eclipse:
Link: NASA’s Eclipse Website