Solar eclipse will take place on Sunday

Posted: Updated:
By David Baker By David Baker

PHOENIX -- A rare event will be happening in the skies Sunday, and folks in Arizona will have a great seat for it.

The annular solar eclipse is expected to be visible Sunday afternoon.  It's where the sun will appear as a thin ring behind the moon. 

"The moon is at the very far end of the orbit and now it's slightly smaller than the size of the sun," Claude Haynese with the East Valley Astronomy Club told 3TV's April Warnecke.

The eclipse will be seen throughout the United States, but only parts of the country will be able to see the whole thing, including northeastern Arizona. At its peak, the moon will block roughly 94 percent of the sun's light.

"The best viewing will be around Page for this particular eclipse," said Haynese. "The Valley will see about 85% coverage, so if you go farther north, you'll see the moon in the center of the sun."

If you plan to see it, don't look directly at the sun.  Haynese says if you have a telescope, make sure to have a special filter.  And wearing sunglasses isn't enough to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays.

The Valley Astronomy Club is hosting a free event to watch the annular solar eclipse.  It's at the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory (GRCO) at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert.  The viewing party starts at 5 p.m. and will end at sunset.

The last annular eclipse appeared in the United States in 1994.


SUNDAY - 5:00 PM

Claude Haynes-East Valley Astronomy Club
For more information about the East Valley Astronomy Club, visit www.EVACONLINE.ORG.