Sunday, May 20, 2012

Rare Solar Eclipse Can Be Seen in Western United States on Sunday

People in the western part of the United States will get a rare glimps this Sunday: a solar eclipse, often only visible to a small portion of the world, will be visible to some parts of United States, including California, Nevada, and Arizona, but not the East Coast. And, remember, if you are watching the eclipse, make sure to use some kind of safety beyond normal sunglasses, otherwise you could go blind.
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A solar eclipse May 21 is the first of its kind since 1994, visible from a wide area of Earth. The phenomenon happens twice a year, but is usually only visible by a small fraction of the Earth's surface. This eclipse will be visible in China and Japan on May 21 and for the first time in 18 years by continental western states, California, Nevada, and Arizona on May 20, but not on the East Coast, where the sun will have already set. Those in the Northeast will have to wait for the total eclipse in 2017.

For those who will get a glimpse of the annular eclipse this weekend, though, don’t forget mom’s advice. If you don’t have a solar filter, a pinhole projector, or some special solar-safe viewing glasses, you better refrain from staring—otherwise the next eclipse might be a lot harder to see.

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