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Next Solar Eclipse on May 20, 2012

Posted by on May. 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM
BJ
  • 6 Replies

 http://www.livescience.com/20328-solar-eclipse-20-2012.html

The next solar eclipse will grace the afternoon and early evening skies over much of the United States this Sunday (May 20), offering up a spectacular site for those lucky enough to see it.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets directly between Earth and the sun. Sunday’s event will be an partial solar eclipse across most of the United States and Canada, and a more compelling annular solar eclipse for a narrow swath of residents in the West and Southwest. The sun sets before any of it will be visible from the East Coast, however.

During the annular eclipse, the moon will be analogous to a black dime in front of a shiny penny, with a thin “ring of fire” — sunlight that streams around the moon.

Annular eclipses occur when the moon is at or near its farthest distance from Earth on it’s non-circular orbit. Annular eclipses can be dramatic, but because they’re not total eclipses, they must be viewed with proper safety filters — looking at direct sunlight can damage your eyes.

 

by on May. 16, 2012 at 6:58 PM
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Replies (1-6):
usmom3
by BJ on May. 16, 2012 at 7:05 PM

 here is a PDF that shows how to make a viewer from a cereal box.

 

kirbymom
by Sonja on May. 16, 2012 at 7:30 PM

 This can be turned into a great science project.  Thanks for sharing. 

 I personally love this. To me, its incredible how it works.  :) 

usmom3
by BJ on May. 16, 2012 at 7:35 PM

 Yep, my kids have been digging in the kitchen for cereal boxes. They each want one of their own!

Quoting kirbymom:

 This can be turned into a great science project.  Thanks for sharing. 

 I personally love this. To me, its incredible how it works.  :) 

 

Boobah
by Nikki :) on May. 16, 2012 at 8:20 PM
Perfect! We have been talking about the sky, getting ready to study it next year. This will be fun to share with Julia. :)
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melissaoliver79
by on May. 16, 2012 at 8:57 PM

thanks we are gonna try this

oredeb
by debbie on May. 17, 2012 at 10:34 AM

 

In the United States, the eclipse begins around 5:30 p.m. PDT. For the next two hours, a Moon-shaped portion of the sun will go into hiding. Greatest coverage occurs around 6:30 p.m. PDT. The partial eclipse ends just before 7:30 p.m.

in my area:

In Portland and around north Oregon coast towns such as Seaside, Cannon Beach and Manzanita, it begins at 5:04 p.m. when the Moon makes first contact with the Sun.

The maximum eclipse accords at 6:21 p.m. when the Moon covers 81 percent of the Sun's diameter at 25 degrees above the western horizon,” Todd said. “The partial eclipse will end at 7:29 p.m. as the Moon exits.”

This means the farther south you go in Oregon and the coast the more of the Sun will be covered. With towns like Eugene, Bend and Florence being about the halfway mark down the length of the state, from there southward you will see an increasingly larger eclipse. But it's possible towns even as far north as Yachats, Newport or Depoe Bay could see more than up around Pacific City.

Because some of the sun is always exposed during the eclipse, ambient daylight won't seem much different than usual.

Instead, the event will reveal itself in the shadows. Look on the ground beneath leafy trees for crescent-shaped sunbeams and rings of light. NEVER look directly at the sun, even during an eclipse. Permanent eye damage can (and usually does) result. or create your own contraption by punching a small pinhole in a cardboard box.

Near the center-line of the eclipse, observers will experience something special: the "ring of fire." As the Moon crosses the sun dead-center, a circular strip or annulus of sunlight will completely surround the dark lunar disk. Visually, the sun has a big black hole in the middle

The "path of annularity" where this occurs is only about 200 miles wide, but it stretches almost halfway around the world passing many population centers en route: Tokyo, Japan; Medford, Oregon; Chico, California; Reno, Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Lubbock, Texas.

In those locations the ring of fire phenomenon will be visible for as much as 4 and a half minutes.


The ring of sunlight during annularity is blindingly bright," cautions NASA's leading eclipse expert Fred Espenak of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Even though most of the Sun's disk will be covered, you still need to use a solar filter or some type of projection technique. A #14 welder's glass is a good choice.

The next ring eclipse won't be visible in the U.S. for more than a decade — October 2023.

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