There will be an Annular Solar Eclipse occuring on 20th May 2012 (21st May 2012 for Singapore and most parts of Asia).
From the Latin word “Annulus” which means “little ring“, an Annular Solar Eclipse occurs when the Moon blocks out most of the Sun, but unlike a Total Eclipse where the Sun is completely covered, now the Moon is close to Apogee (the farthest point from Earth in its elliptical Orbit around our planet), thus it leaves a trail (ring) of visible light around its circumference, ie. the “Ring of Fire“.
Observers need to take certain precautions when viewing this spectacular event or serious and permanent eye injury (including blindness) can happen.
Do Not look directly at the Sun with the naked eye or through a telescope of binoculars without proper filters.
Normal Sunglasses might not be suitable for use to view the Eclipse too. The safest way to view the solar eclipse is through a “Pinhole Camera“.
You can find out more about Pinhole Cameras and how to construct one from Wikipedia here.
This Annular Solar Eclipse is the first time in 18 years that residents from the the continental United States have a chance to witness it.
Only Parts of Asia can see the Eclipse (We might not be able to witness this Solar Eclipse in Singapore).
The First location to see the partial Eclipse would begin about 0456hrs 21 May 2012 (GMT +8, Singapore Time), and the maximum Eclipse would occur around 0754hrs.
The Last location to see the Eclipse would be around 1049hrs (Singapore Time).
This eclipse is the first of three major Astronomical events in 2012, there will be another two during the transit of Venus on 6th June 2012 and a Total Solar Eclipse on 13th November 2012.