This weekend, Ring of Fire Annular Eclipse!!

If you happen to live in parts of China, Japan, or parts of North America, you are in for a treat this weekend should you happen to venture outside in the evening.

On Sunday may 20th 2021 there will be an Annular Eclipse casting it’s shadow across the earth.

The “Annular Eclipse” is where the apparent size of the moon is not quite large enough to cover the entire sun, leaving a bright ring, or annulus around the moon. This differs from a Total Eclipse where the entire sun is obscured, leaving only the faint corona visible.

And the path of the moon’s shadow will follow the “Ring of Fire” around the Pacific, in a true moment of cosmic Synchronicity…

In North America the 2 1/2 hour event begins in the late afternoon~early evening around 5pm on the northern California coast directly over Crescent City, heading in a slightly south-easterly path over Chico, Reno, and onto Albuquerque, making a spectacular visit to Roswell before setting fully cloaked in Lubbock Texas, which should make for some amazing sunset photos.

Here’s a great time-map from Nasa showing the time and locations.

All times are shown in “Universal Time” (UT) which is the same as the old Greenwich Mean Time. This means to find your local time, you take UT and subtract your local timezone, and offset any daylight savings. For instance the maximum in California is shown to be 01:28am UT.

Our local time is -7UTC, which would give us 18:28 or 6:28pm. Texas should see the maximum 2 hours later at 8:30pm (-5UT) (Times adjusted for US Daylight Savings)

Those within the blue limit lines will be treated to the full beauty of the eclipse, although it will be partially visible for hundreds of miles in each direction. San Jose Ca for example will still be able to see 60% of the coverage.

So even if you are not in the direct path or can’t make the pilgrimage to a perfect viewing area, it is still worth the look up into the cooling sky to try and catch a glimpse of one of the gifts from the skies above. But be sure to use special sunglasses or a pinhole projector, as staring at the sun can make it hard to read a menu.

Meanwhile, check out this cool video on the event from Science@nasa

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