PostHeaderIcon 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.


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



Where can I watch it from Seattle?

Pacific Science Center Courtyard –

Solstice Park in West Seattle (bring your own viewing equipment) –


What time should I look from ­­­­another city? (“Magnitude” is the percent coverage: 0.82 means 82% coverage)

When is sunset for another city?


Oh no! It’s cloudy!


Give me more data!


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