May 2012 Solar Eclipse To Cast ‘Ring Of Fire’ Around The Sun
May 21, 2012
Early Monday morning in Asia, the Moon will pass in front of the sun, transforming sunbeams across the Pacific side of Earth into fat crescents and thin rings of light.
AsianScientist (May 21, 2012) – Early Monday morning in Asia, hundreds of millions of people will witness an annular eclipse of the sun – visible from within a narrow corridor along Earth’s northern Hemisphere – beginning in eastern Asia, crossing the North Pacific Ocean, and ending in the western United States.
A partial eclipse will be visible from a much larger region covering East Asia, North Pacific, North America and Greenland.
During an annular eclipse the moon covers as much as 94 percent of the sun, and leaves a bright ring of light visible at the edges.
For the May eclipse, the moon will be at the furthest distance from Earth that it ever achieves – meaning that it will block the smallest possible portion of the sun, and leave the largest possible bright ring around the outside.
A joint JAXA/NASA Hinode mission will observe the eclipse and provide images and movies on the NASA website at http://www.nasa.gov/sunearth. As an added bonus, Hinode’s X-ray Telescope will be able to provide images of the peaks and valleys of the lunar surface.
The next solar eclipse will take place on November 13, 2012.
Source: NASA; Photo: HINODE/XRT January 6, 2011 eclipse.
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