- Alice's Astro Info - http://alicesastroinfo.com -

Annular Solar Eclipse – Sunday May 20, 2012

There is a partial annular solar eclipse this Sunday. It’s visible from Seattle. A solar eclipse is when the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun. A total eclipse is when, from this position, the Moon completely blocks our view of the Sun. An annular eclipse is when the Moon is just a little farther away, and so although it is completely in front of the Sun, it doesn’t completely block our view, we can still see a ring of Sun around the edge of the Moon. For this eclipse the most anyone will be able to see is an annular eclipse.

[1]  [2]  [3]

Images from Stellarium

Viewing Safety

Never look directly at the Sun. Safe viewing is paramount. Always use appropriate safety equipment to view the Sun. This can be:

Do not use stacked sunglasses, smoked glass, or rely on cloudcover to protect you.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Visibility from Seattle

Start:                5:01pm

Max (82%):       6:17pm

Finish:              7:25pm

Sunset:             8:47pm

 Visibility from Redding, CA

Start:                5:10pm

Max (96%):       6:28pm

End:                 7:35pm

Sunset:             8:29pm

 When was the last/next one visible from Seattle?

(next one 2-5 yrs)

1994 – 51%                  2014 – 64%

2000 – 30%                  2017 – 93%

2000 – 36%                  2023 – 85%

2001 – 37%                  2084 – 93%

2002 – 48%                  full annular!

(last one 10 yrs ago)

Some Diagrams

  [6]  [7]


Where can I watch it from Seattle?

Pacific Science Center Courtyard – http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org/Education/Programs/join-us-for-two-major-celestial-events [8]

Solstice Park in West Seattle (bring your own viewing equipment) – http://www.alicesastroinfo.com/2012/05/partial-solar-eclipse-viewing-2012-solstice-park/ [9]


What time should I look from ­­­­another city? http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012May20Agoogle.html [10] (“Magnitude” is the percent coverage: 0.82 means 82% coverage)

When is sunset for another city?

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/aa_pap.pl [11]


Oh no! It’s cloudy!


Give me more data!

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html [13]

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/JSEX/JSEX-index.html [14]

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2012.html#SE2012May20A [15]


 http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHfigures/OH2012-Fig01.pdf [16]