‘Ring of Fire 2013’ – Annular Solar Eclipse

The first solar eclipse of 2013 is Australia’s 2nd in 6 months

Queensland Australia gets another celestial treat after enjoying a total solar eclipse in November 2012. On Friday morning, May 10 (local time Australia), the Moon will travel in front of the Sun blocking most of its light—except for what looks like a ‘Ring of Fire’ around the Moon’s edge. Below is an image of the annular eclipse from May 2012, the first annular eclipse visible from the contiguous United States in around 18 years.

Watch the Eclipse Replay

A telescopic camera on the island of Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory of Australia captured these images of the annular solar eclipse of 9 May 2013 for the SLOOH Space Camera network. CREDIT: SLOOH & Space.com YouTube

What is an annular eclipse?

A solar eclipse is when the Moon lines up between Earth and the Sun such that the Moon either partially or completely blocks out the Sun. When the Sun is completely blocked out we called it a total solar eclipse, and often this is what people think of with an eclipse. But a partial eclipse can be just as exciting. When the Moon comes just shy of completely blocking out the Sun a bright ring or annulus is visible. This is a special kind of partial eclipse, an annular eclipse.

The annular eclipse of May 10, 2013 is the first eclipse of 2013.  The eclipse will be visible from a 171 to 225-kilometer-wide track that traverses Australia, eastern Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Gilbert Islands. The annular path begins in Western Australia near Collier Range National Park at 22:33 UT and end at 02:20 over the Pacific Ocean.

The Sun Today has created this mini guide to viewing, and we’ll be posting our favorite images if you miss it live. If you are lucky enough to see it in-person, please share your image on our Facebook Page or email them to me at alex@thesuntoday.org with your credits and I’ll share to our community.

Science at NASA created a video last year in preparation for the May 20, 2012 annular eclipse over the United States.

Where and when to see the Eclipse on May 10, 2013

A figure of the May 10, 2013 eclipse predictions from Fred Espenak of NASA GSFC

A figure of the May 10, 2013 eclipse predictions from Fred Espenak of NASA GSFC

Guide to Solar Eclipses (Infographic)

Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor – How Solar Eclipses Work: When the moon covers up the sun, skywatchers delight in the opportunity to see a rare spectacle.

Guide to Solar Eclipses (Infographic) Guide to Solar Eclipses (Infographic)