On May 20, 2012, an annular solar eclipse of the sun will occur when the moon will block about 94 percent of the sun. This view from Japan's Hinode spacecraft shows an example of an annular solar eclipse. This was taken during the solar eclipse of Jan. 4, 2011.
This NASA graphic depicts the path of best viewing for the annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012. For some observers in East Asia, the solar eclipse begins on May 21, 2012.
This map shows the path of 'annularity,' with maximum eclipse (p.m., local time) for sites along the path. Areas outside the path of annularity will see a partial eclipse.
This NASA graphic of the United States depicts the path of the annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012, when the moon will cover about 94 percent of the sun's surface as seen from Earth.
This NASA graphic of the western United States depicts the path of the annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012, when the moon will cover about 94 percent of the sun's surface as seen from Earth.
This sky map depicts the location of the sun and moon in the daytime sky during the annular solar eclipse of May 20, 2012 as viewed from North America. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon does not completely obscure the sun, leaving a bright ring around the moon's disk.
How Solar Eclipses Work: When the moon covers up the sun, skywatchers delight in the opportunity to see a rare spectacle.
You should never look directly at the sun, but there are ways to safely observe an eclipse.
This chart notes the cities and times to view the annular solar eclipse of May, 20-21, 2012.
This chart shows the path of the May 20, 2012 annular solar eclipse across the western and southern United States. Major cities are listed inside the boundaries of the solar eclipse visibilty path.
This chart prepared by NASA solar eclipse expert Fred Espenak details the path of the May 20-21 annular solar eclipse of 2012 across the Earth.
As the solar eclipse on May 20, 2012, progresses, its partial and annular phases will look very similar to this eclipse on May 10, 1994
Nearly all North America gets at least a partial eclipse on May 20th, with the Moon taking a big bite out of the Sun. The eclipse will still be in progress at sunset for much of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.