A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun's light. An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region thousands of kilometres wide. This is also known as Ring of Fire.
The first annular eclipse in almost 20 years occurred on Saturday, 20 May 2012, visible over Asia, the Pacific Ocean, and parts of western North America. According to The Examiner, the next partial eclipse over much of North America will occur on October 23, 2014. The next total eclipse over the U.S. will occur on August 21, 2017, in the Tennessee area.
Above is a photo of a couple watching the eclipse. I like the 'feel,' almost like folk in the 1950s who would wear stereoscopic bi-colored paper glasses to view 3-D movies, often Sci-Fi.
What: Annular Eclipse Watch Party
Where: Fleischmann Planetarium, University of Nevada, Redfield Campus, south of Reno, Nevada, along route to Lake Tahoe.
When: 20 May 2012, 6:30PM PDT.
Who: Carol Cizauskas and Don Prather, both of whom were wearing specially constructed filter viewers provided by the Planetarium.
The Wheels: "Frankie," a 1993 Chrysler LeBaron convertible.
- WARNING: Never attempt to look directly at any eclipse with the naked eye, telescope, binoculars, sunglasses, etc. Failure to use appropriate filtration may result in permanent eye damage or blindness.
- Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, often posted on Saturdays, and often, but not always, with a good fermentable as subject. This photo courtesy Carol Cizauskas, haiku poet at Six Blocks From The City. Commercial use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.