Editor's update (April 28): The first solar eclipse of 2014 will be webcast live for observers who can't witness it firsthand in Australia. To follow the webcasts, visit: Solar Eclipse Webcasts by Slooh, Virtual Telescope Project
A cool new map produced by an amateur astronomer lets interested skywatchers see what next week's solar eclipse will look like from any part of the world.
Xavier Jubier created this solar eclipse Google map that lets users zoom in and out of different parts of the globe to see what the eclipse will look like from anywhere. You can click on different parts of the world to actually see what the sun will look like at the time of the eclipse. Unfortunately, next week's solar eclipse — set to take place on Tuesday (April 29) — won't be widely seen. Observers in parts of Australia should be able to catch a glimpse of a partial eclipse, and the sun will turn into a "ring of fire" above an uninhabited part of Antarctica.
This kind of "ring of fire" eclipse is known as an annular eclipse. When Tuesday's eclipse occurs, the moon will be close to its farthest point from Earth, preventing it from covering the sun completely. If the moon did cover the sun completely from the perspective of observers on Earth, it would be called a total solar eclipse. WARNING: Never look directly at the sun during an eclipse with a telescope or your unaided eye; severe eye damage can result. (Scientists use special filters to safely view the sun.) ['Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse of April 29, 2014 (Visibility Maps)]
Here's a direct link to the solar eclipse map from Xavier Jubier: http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/xSE_GoogleMap3.php?Ecl=+20140429&Acc=2&Umb=0&Lmt=1&Mag=1&Max=1
Editor's Note: If you live in the populated visibility path and snap an amazing picture of the April 29 solar eclipse, you can send photos, comments, and your name and location to managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.