21 May 2012

Annular Solar Eclipse - New Moon in Gemini

The sun and moon aligned over the Earth in a rare astronomical event on Sunday - an annular eclipse that dimmed the skies over parts of Asia and North America, briefly turning the sun into a blazing ring of fire. 
Steven Addington, Ashland, Oregon

Steven Addington, Ashland, Oregon
Steven Addington, Ashland, Oregon
Paul Landau Photography, Sonoran Desert

As seen from space
Larry Turner Photography, Cave Creek, AZ
Larry Turner Photography, Cave Creek, AZ
Greg Jackson, NWS Midland TX
Jack Leishman, Mt. Lassen, OR
Roswell, New Mexico 
Tokyo Japan
NZ 11.47am 21st AUST EST 9.47am 21st GMT 11.47pm MAY 20th
ECLIPSE TIME NZ 11.53am 21st AUST EST 9.53am 21st GMT/UTC 11.53pm MAY 20th

Eclipses of some type occur almost every year, but stargazers have not seen an annular - shaped like a ring -eclipse on U.S. soil since 1994, and the next one is not to occur until 2023. That is because the phenomenon requires a particular set of orbital dynamics, NASA Space Scientist Jeffrey Newmark said.
An annular eclipse occurs when the moon's orbit is at its furthest point from the Earth and closer to the much larger sun. That juxtaposition allows the moon to block more than 90 percent of the sun's rays when the two orbs slide into alignment.
"It's like moving your fist in front of your eyes," Newmark said. "You can block out the view of a whole mountain. It's the same kind of effect."
The eclipse was first visible over southern Asia and then moved across the Pacific. Travelling on a diagonal path, it later crossed parts of Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico before disappearing in Texas with the sunset.
Day did not turn into night. But light faded as the moon slid in front of the sun, much like turning down a dimmer switch, and then slowly returned as the moon moved away.
A view of the so-called "ring of fire" spectacle at the eclipse's peak, however, lasted about four minutes, and even then was only visible to viewers positioned along the centreline of the eclipse's path. Shadows cast from trees and bushes will contain thousands of tiny odd crescents, as the spaces between leaves become pinhole cameras.
This eclipse is the first of several spectacular heavenly phenomena this year. A partial lunar eclipse will occur in two weeks on June 4 and, a day later, the rare transit of Venus will take place. On Nov. 13, the Earth will experience a total solar eclipse. Unfortunately, that one will only be visible over a small patch of land in northern Australia. Finally, a penumbral lunar eclipse will take place on Nov. 28.


  1. Amazing pics everyone . I enjoyed this very much Thank you for posting and sharing this stunning event . Diana Saputo

  2. Very great group of photos.

  3. I cannot tell you how much I LOVED this post. Thank you so much ...

    Happiness and Peace to all.

  4. Totally right! Amazing pictures too.


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