On Sunday, May 20, there will be the opportunity to view an unusual annular eclipse of the sun.
Mesa Verde National Park is where there should be good viewing the ring of fire, weather permitting. The eclipse will occur as the moon crosses in front of the sun, according to a written release from the national park. The resulting shadow that falls upon the Earth will race across the Western U.S. at over 1,000 mph. A special public presentation will be offered at the Navajo Canyon overlook, on the Mesa Top Loop Road, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The appearance of the ring of fire will occur at approximately 7:30 p.m.
A solar scope will be available, and special viewing glasses will be provided. Everyone viewing this event must have appropriate eye protection. Looking directly at the sun without a proper solar filter can cause severe eye damage; sunglasses do not provide sufficient protection.
The eclipse begins over the Pacific Ocean and, from south of the Aleutian Islands, travels to the California coast at Redwoods National Park. From there the shadow of the eclipse races south and east over 30 national parks in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, and even into west Texas before sunset. To view a map of the solar eclipse path through the southwest United States visit www.nature.nps.gov/features/eclipse/assets/docs/EclipseBulletin.pdf.
The last time an annular solar eclipse was seen in the contiguous U.S. was in 1994.