ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 20th, the first annular eclipse in 18 years will be visible from the United States. Albuquerque, New Mexico is said to be the best urban location to view this "ultimate astronomical event." An annular eclipse occurs when the moon covers most of the sun's disk leaving a thin ring of light around the edge appearing as a "ring of fire."
The eclipse begins over Asia and, traveling at more than 1,000 MPH, the shadow of the eclipse races to the southeast over parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico before sunset. Locally, viewers will be able to see the annular eclipse for about four minutes just before sunset at 7:33pm in Albuquerque on the western horizon. A partial eclipse will be visible from approximately 6:30-8:00pm Mountain Daylight Time.
The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau and partner organizations are inviting astronomy buffs and interested star and sky enthusiasts to visit Albuquerque for this rare viewing event.
Seven entities have established viewing and educational events during the week before and on May 20th led by astronomers, graduate students and museum educators.
- Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum (viewing and education)
- New Mexico Museum of Nuclear Science & History (viewing and education)
- University of New Mexico Observatory (viewing and education)
- New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (educational events only)
- Hard Rock Pavilion at Mesa del Sol (viewing only)
- Sandia Peak Tramway (viewing only)
Each of the viewing locations above offers a direct site of the horizon for optimal viewing of the eclipse. Petroglyph National Monument is offering a viewing event that has been so popular it is already sold out.
Safety will be of utmost importance while viewing the eclipse. People should NOT look directly at the sun as it could cause eye damage. Solar viewing glasses or special pinhole cameras are needed to view the annular eclipse. Glasses will be available at the above event locations and Albuquerque Visitors Information Centers.
Details on viewing and educational events are available at www.ItsATrip.org/ABQSolarEvents.
The mission of the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau is to stimulate economic growth by marketing Albuquerque as a visitor and convention destination. For information, visit www.ItsATrip.org, www.facebook.com/visitAlbuquerque or www.twitter.com/see_albuquerque.
SOURCE Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau