Next month, on May 20th, there will be an annular solar eclipse, visible from parts of Asia, and the western United States.
An annular solar eclipse is not a “total” eclipse, so the moon will not completely block the Sun. Instead, the Sun will look like a very bright ring (also known as an “annulus”), like in the photo on the right (which was taken during the annular solar eclipse of October 3rd, 2005).
So, why am I telling you this over a month ahead of time?
Well, in the past, I’ve generally found out about these types of astronomical events at the very last minute. They’re usually reported on the big news sites just a few days before they actually happen. And, that’s a problem for us photographers because we need some time to prepare 🙂
Wouldn’t it be nice if you had more than a couple of days to think about a cool composition for an eclipse or think through a time-lapse film of a meteor shower?
So, I’ve decided to keep better track of events like this, and it’s one of the things I’ll be including in our new weekly newsletters that go out every Thursday night. Each week, I’ll include a list of upcoming astronomical events, so you can plan ahead for creating some epic images. The list will include everything from full moons to meteor showers, to any type of eclipse.
For more info on the annular solar eclipse on May 20th, check out these helpful websites:
- Wikipedia page for the eclipse (great overview)
- Google map of solar eclipse path (from NASA)
- Great analysis of potential cloud cover for different areas
- Another helpful map from NASA
- Even more great maps
- Great post on the eclipse from The Online Photographer
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About the Author: Steve Berardi is a naturalist, photographer, software engineer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.