A unique solar eclipse will begin on May 20, 2012 in China and will move to the east, to the United States on May 21, 2012. Unfortunately, the eclipse will be visible only in limited areas of the Earth.

The eclipse will block more light from the sun, leaving a spectacular “ring of fire” shining in the sky. It will be visible in those parts of the Earth which will lie along the path of the eclipse.

This phenomenon is known as annular eclipse and occurs when the Sun and the Moon align with our planet, and the size of the Moon hides the Sun due to the distance. As a result, the Sun shows a very bright “ring of fire” around the edge of the Moon. The phenomenon will be observable in the major part of Asia, Pacific and some parts of western North America, if the weather permits. At its peak, the eclipse will block about 94 percent of sunlight.

In other parts of the United States and Canada it will be possible to see a partial solar eclipse without the full ring of fire. The eclipse will happen in late afternoon or early evening of May 20 in North America and May 21 in Asia. Check this guide of “eclipse skywatching” to learn more about the visibility of the phenomenon, locations and times:


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