Annular Solar Eclipse on Sunday, May 20th 2012

On Sunday, May 20th 2012, people in a narrow strip from Japan to the western United States will be able to see an annular solar eclipse, the first in 18 years. The moon will cover as much as 94% of the sun. An Annular Solar Eclipse is different from a Total Solar Eclipse, when the moon covers the entire sun.

The “path of annularity” where the solar eclipse occurs is just about 200 miles wide and reaches from Japan to the United States, that’s almost halfway around the globe. It will pass many population centers on its route: Tokyo, Japan; Medford, Oregon; Chico, California; Reno, Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Lubbock, Texas. (More details at Solar Eclipse this Weekend (NASA)). Observers in this regions will be able to see the “ring of fire” phenomenon for as much as 4 and a half minutes.