World takes time out of its busy schedule to enjoy solar eclipse
Eclipse was visible from the Chinese coast to the western United States
For only the briefest moment, the sky was a brilliant bronze gold - and
the whole world took time to watch. A spectacular annular solar eclipse
on Sunday May 20, 2012 captivated earthbound sky gazers.
An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the Sun to look like an annulus, or ring, which blocks most of the Sun's light. An annular eclipse is also known as Ring of Fire.
This year's annular phase was visible from the Chinese coast, northern Taiwan, the south of Japan, and the western part of the United States. Guangzhou, Taipei, Tokyo and Albuquerque were on the central path.
The full effect of the eclipse occurred in part of the North Pacific, south of the Aleutian Islands for 5 minutes and 46 seconds and finished in the western United States.
The eclipse was visible in Tokyo - where numerous people took pictures with camera phones and other devices, before sweeping west and intersecting the West Coast a little after 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Scores of people could watch the eclipse over dinner, with the full "ring of fire" effect viewable in a path connecting California with Nevada.
Although the eclipse was only safely "viewable" with welder's glasses (or else a pinhole punched into a cardboard) that didn't stop the normally soft afternoon light from being changed into something harsher as the moon blocked the sun.
If you missed it - you don't have that long a wait. On October 23, 2014, a partial solar eclipse will strike Russia and the Western United States, including California. The center of the eclipse will pass "above" the North Pole, meaning that there won't be totality anywhere on the planet, according to Wikipedia.
The next solar eclipse won't be until August 21, 2017, however, a total solar eclipse will sweep through the United States, intersecting Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Soalr eclipse, Ring of Fire, astronomy
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