Monday, May 14, 2012

Looking for a road trip? Try St. George this Sunday, for a solar eclipse

I wrote about this in January, but now that the moment is at hand I thought it was worth posting again. On the heels of the "Super Moon," we are now within driving distance of a solar eclipse this Sunday.

In fact, St. George seems like the sweet spot. Solar eclipses don’t happen very often, and when they do they’re usually over the ocean or someplace far from home.

While a solar eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the Sun and the Earth and casts a shadow. An annular eclipse is a solar eclipse, but because the moon is at the far part of its eliptical orbit around the Earth it appears smaller in the sky and a ring of light from the sun shines around it.

If you go to northern Nevada, it ought to be in mid-afternoon. By the time it reaches southern Utah, the sun will be low toward the horizon, which ought to produce are remarable effect and some spectacular pictures.

After Sunday, the next solar eclipse in North America will be Aug. 21, 2017,  and guess what? The path will run right over central and eastern Idaho. Looking at the map, I've come to the conclusion that either Redfish Lake or Menan Butte will be the best places to see it. Mark your calendars. You read it here.

This is what an annular eclipse looks like.