Solar Eclipse 2012: Moon Will Block The Sun On May 20th
Did you miss the supermoon? Well, in a few weeks you’ll be able to catch an even cooler cosmic sight. An annular solar eclipse will occur on May 20th and will be visible by most of the United States.
Next week’s solar eclipse isn’t a total eclipse. Instead, the moon will cover up most of the sun but a “ring of fire” will still be visible. Space.com reports that about 94% of the sun will be blocked by the moon on May 20th.
MSNBC reports that the moon passes between earth and the sun every 29.5 days. The moon usually passes above or below the sun but occasionally it will cross directly in front. This results in a total eclipse, a partial eclipse, or an annular eclipse. On May 20th skywatchers will see an annular eclipse because the moon will be close to apogee, the point in its orbit where it is farthest away from earth, and will not completely cover the sun.
Skywatchers will be able to catch a glimpse of the eclipse in most of the United States but only a few will be able to get the full effect.
Here’s a chart about when and where to watch the elcipse.
But don’t just run out of your house and take a look at the solar eclipse. If you do, there’s a chance you might go blind. Space.com reports that regular sunglasses just won’t cut it on May 20th. Instead, you should go out and get ”solar shades” from a telescope store or No. 14 welder’s glasses.