There is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that there will be an annular solar eclipse on the 20th of May. The bad news is that more than 80% of the world’s population is going to miss it. The Solar Eclipse, dubbed the ‘Ring of Fire Eclipse’ for reasons which will be clear in a bit, will be visible in its true spectacular glory on the western coast of the United States.
The Greatest Eclipse
The eclipse will only be visible from a small stretch of the earth’s surface, and even that is covered mostly by oceans. The place of Greatest Eclipse (GE) occurs bang in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with no visible atolls nearby.
There is good news for US residents on the Western half of the country. The solar eclipse will track through the middle of California, south of Oregon, through most of Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. Only partial eclipse will be seen on the eastern part of New Mexico. Texas will have to be satisfied with a short partial eclipse. The path traces out the Northern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and thus the name.
Across the Pacific, on the Asian shores, Japan will be lucky to be able to witness the spectacle and so will be the western shores of China.
Making all of this much easier to track is NASA’s awesome interactive Google Earth Map. Here is a screenshot of the Map.
Here is the interactive map in all its glory: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2012May20Agoogle.html