By Amanda Shore
On Sunday, May 20, 2012, there will be an annular solar eclipse. This happens when the Moon is directly between the Earth and the Sun, but it is too far away to completely cover up our star. This results in the Sun peeking out around the edges of the Moon, leaving a glowing ring, called an annulus, around it. This rare occurrence can be seen in the late evening. Some of the prime spots for viewing are in Utah.
On Saturday, May 19, there is an “Eclipse Extravaganza” at the Cedar City Aquatic Center. This event runs from 11:00 AM until 3:00 PM, and admission is free. There, you can learn from experts how to safely view the eclipse. You can get a map of the area and a pair of Eclipse Glasses. These are almost black sunglasses that will protect your eyes from having to look almost directly at the sun.
If you plan on photographing it, bring a protective eyepiece for your camera so that you do not damage your eyes. A solar filter for your camera is also recommended.
There are activities for everyone at this extravaganza. Several learning stations will be open to educate everyone about the eclipse, phases of the moon, rockets, energy, UV light and more.
At 7:30 PM, there will be a concert in Kanarraville with Doug Haywood and Karyn Whittemore. Tickets will be sold at the gate for $12.
All of that is in preparation for the annular solar eclipse on Sunday, May 20. NASA has stated that Spring Creek Road in Kanarraville, Utah, is the best spot to view this noteworthy occasion. An estimated 5,000 people are expected to be there, so save your spot early!
There will be vendors and facilities available. Food, drinks, arts and crafts and memorabilia will be sold. Remember to book a hotel since camping is not allowed.
If you want to view the eclipse away from the crowd, there are several other recommended viewing locations throughout Iron County. Maps are available at the Visitor Center at 581 N. Main Street, Cedar City, UT 84721.