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May 18, 2012 > Solar Eclipse comes to the Bay

Solar Eclipse comes to the Bay

The Bay Area will be treated to a rare sight as the Moon passes in front of the Sun and residents will be able to observe a Solar Eclipse on Sunday, May 20. The maximum eclipse will be seen at 6:32 p.m. Special viewing equipment is necessary to watch the eclipse directly since staring at the sun without special goggles or filters can cause blindness. Indirect methods such as pinhole cameras and projection of an image using binoculars can avoid potential eye damage. Special viewing glasses are available for sale at Chabot Space & Science Center, 10000 Skyline Blvd Oakland (510) 336-7300

The Bay Area is not in the path of an "annular solar eclipse" sometimes called a "ring of fire" in which the moon blocks sight of almost the entire surface of the sun and only edges are visible, but local observers will be able to track a significant partial solar eclipse. The path of a "total" eclipse will arrive in North American on the coast of southern Oregon and northern California, and cut a swath through Eureka, Redding, Chico and Lake Tahoe. It will progress through Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico; sunset will bring an end to the spectacle near Lubbock, Texas.

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