On Sunday, May 20, there will be a solar eclipse late in the afternoon. It will be most visible in the American Southwest. The path of maximum coverage begins on the west coast near the border of California and Oregon and moves across the country in a southeasterly direction. People in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and west Texas will get the full experience. Go to www.nasa.gov/eclipse for a video describing the American section of the eclipse.
This particular eclipse is special in that it is an annular eclipse. This type of eclipse happens when the Moon is closer to the Sun than during a total eclipse. It happens very rarely, compared to a total eclipse. In an annular eclipse, the Moon covers only 98% of the Sun, leaving a ring of light around the Moon. Outside the path of maximum coverage, the Sun will be a crescent and the shadows of trees and bushes will have crescents in them. The eclipse will be partially visible in the USA west of the Appalachians
Here in Southern California, the Sun will be, at most, 85% covered, beginning at about 5:25PM and ending at 6:25PM and the weather forecast is for clear skies Sunday afternoon. Be extremely careful when attempting to photograph the eclipse. The Sun will still be bright enough to burn out the light sensor in a digital camera, not to mention the damage to your retinas.
This happens once, maybe twice in a person's lifetime. Be careful and have fun!