SCIENCE

Solar Eclipse 2012: Live Coverage Of Sunday's Astronomical Event (PHOTOS, LIVE UPDATES)

05/20/2012 08:13 pm ET | Updated Nov 13, 2012

On Sunday, a rare annular solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Asia, the Pacific and the western U.S.

It's the first annular solar eclipse visible in the U.S. in nearly 18 years, according to NASA, and it will be more than 10 years before another annular solar eclipse is visible in the mainland U.S., National Geographic reports.

Story continues below.

May 20, 2012 Annular Solar Eclipse

The eclipse will first be visible in southern China at 6:36 p.m. EDT, according to Space.com. It will continue on its path of annularity over Hong Kong and parts of Japan and crossing the Pacific Ocean. It will first become visible in Oregon and northern California at around 8:05 p.m. EDT, but won't reach the maximum coverage until about 80 minutes later. (Click here for more about how and when to view the eclipse.)

Unlike a total eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the Sun to block out the entire star, an annular eclipse covers only part of the Sun, producing what looks like a giant "ring of fire." Those lucky skywatchers inside the 8,500-mile long and 186-mile wide "path of annularity" will see the ring phenomenon for roughly five minutes, according to the Associated Press. People in the United States who are west of the Mississippi River but outside of the path of annularity will still see a partial eclipse.

Attempting to look at the eclipse with the naked eye, sunglasses or an optical device, like a telescope or binoculars, can result in permanent eye damage, so visit The Exploratorium's website for tips about how to safely view the astronomical phenomenon.

RECAP OF LIVE UPDATES:

05/20/2012 10:16 PM EDT

Clouds Reflect The Eclipse

05/20/2012 10:14 PM EDT

Eclipse Hits During Wedding Ceremony In Ibusuki, Southern Japan

solar eclipse 2012

05/20/2012 10:10 PM EDT

Watching In Sapporo, Northern Japan

solar eclipse 2012

05/20/2012 10:07 PM EDT

Awesome NASA View

05/20/2012 10:06 PM EDT

Nice Shot!

05/20/2012 10:02 PM EDT

School Children Viewing In Osaka, Japan

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05/20/2012 9:59 PM EDT

Little Guy Shows How It's Done

solar eclipse 2012

05/20/2012 9:54 PM EDT

Plane Crosses The Sun In Japan

05/20/2012 9:48 PM EDT

Pretty Impressive For A Cell Phone Photo

05/20/2012 9:43 PM EDT

Eclipse Action In Yokohama, Japan

solar eclipse 2012

","short_text":"

Pretty cool. Check out the partial Eclipse of the sun here in Santa Monica. Looks amazing! Photo not doing justice tw...Read More"},{"id":"25","created":"05/20/2012 9:38 PM EDT","title":"Camera's-Eye View","tweet_link":"25_cameraseye-view","entry_text":"

Solar Eclipse instagr.am/p/K3tOqMDJ-G/

— Greg Lutzka (@GregLutzka) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

Solar Eclipse instagr.am/p/K3tOqMDJ-G/

— Greg Lutzka (@GregLutzka) Read More"},{"id":"24","created":"05/20/2012 9:37 PM EDT","title":"Break In Clouds Over Taipei, Taiwan Allowed Glimpse Of Eclipse","tweet_link":"24_break-in-clouds-over-taipei-taiwan-allowed-glimpse-of-eclipse","entry_text":"

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"},{"id":"22","created":"05/20/2012 9:33 PM EDT","title":"Ring Of Fire Seen From Fujisawa, Japan","tweet_link":"22_ring-of-fire-seen-from-fujisawa-japan","entry_text":"

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"},{"id":"21","created":"05/20/2012 9:31 PM EDT","title":"What Twitter Looks Like When The Eclipse Comes","tweet_link":"21_what-twitter-looks-like-when-the-eclipse-comes","entry_text":"

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"20","created":"05/20/2012 9:30 PM EDT","title":"Comfy Setup In Fujusawa, Japan","tweet_link":"20_comfy-setup-in-fujusawa-japan","entry_text":"

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"},{"id":"19","created":"05/20/2012 9:29 PM EDT","title":"Eclipse-Watching And Exercising In Beijing","tweet_link":"19_eclipsewatching-and-exercising-in-beijing","entry_text":"

\"solar

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"},{"id":"18","created":"05/20/2012 9:27 PM EDT","title":"Impressive Pinhole Rig","tweet_link":"18_impressive-pinhole-rig","entry_text":"

It may be the world's jankiest eclipse viewer, but it works! twitter.com/laurel43/statu…

— Laurel May (@laurel43) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

It may be the world's jankiest eclipse viewer, but it works! twitter.com/laurel43/statu…

— Laurel M...Read More"},{"id":"17","created":"05/20/2012 9:26 PM EDT","title":"More Action At L.A.'s Griffith Observatory","tweet_link":"17_more-action-at-las-griffith-observatory","entry_text":"

It's absolutely insane at Griffith Observatory for the #eclipse2012 #eclipse instagr.am/p/K3rwoQyo0-/

— Zach Behrens (@ZachBehrens) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

It's absolutely insane at Griffith Observatory for the #eclipse2012 #eclipse Read More"},{"id":"16","created":"05/20/2012 9:24 PM EDT","title":"Nice Pinhole Camera Viewer","tweet_link":"16_nice-pinhole-camera-viewer","entry_text":"

Pinhole viewer for eclipse. Created by @christyyyjoy, used by @jonlabes instagr.am/p/K3rb5domnu/

— Antonio Neves (@TheAntonioNeves) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

Pinhole viewer for eclipse. Created by @christyyyjoy, used by @jonlabes Read More"},{"id":"15","created":"05/20/2012 9:23 PM EDT","title":"Businessman Views Eclipse In Yokohama, Japan","tweet_link":"15_businessman-views-eclipse-in-yokohama-japan","entry_text":"

\"solar

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"},{"id":"14","created":"05/20/2012 9:21 PM EDT","title":"View Of Elipse Through Special Sunglasses, Seoul, South Korea","tweet_link":"14_view-of-elipse-through-special-sunglasses-seoul-south-korea","entry_text":"

\"solar

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"},{"id":"13","created":"05/20/2012 9:20 PM EDT","title":"Nice DIY Photo","tweet_link":"13_nice-diy-photo","entry_text":"

Our tiny eclipse twitter.com/ejwillingham/s…

— Emily Willingham (@ejwillingham) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

Our tiny eclipse twitter.com/ejwillingham/s…

— Emily Willingham (@ejwillingham) Read More"},{"id":"12","created":"05/20/2012 9:19 PM EDT","title":"Action In Seoul, South Korea","tweet_link":"12_action-in-seoul-south-korea","entry_text":"

\"solar

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"},{"id":"11","created":"05/20/2012 9:17 PM EDT","title":"Sun Over Dodger Stadium","tweet_link":"11_sun-over-dodger-stadium","entry_text":"

RT @CatBelanger: Getting ready for the eclipse over Dodger Stadium! instagr.am/p/K3qcN8hWv1/

— Jon Weisman (@dodgerthoughts) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

RT @CatBelanger: Getting ready for the eclipse over Dodger Stadium! instagr.am/p/K3qcN8hWv1/

<...Read More"},{"id":"10","created":"05/20/2012 9:16 PM EDT","title":"PacMan...Or The Eclipse?","tweet_link":"10_pacmanor-the-eclipse","entry_text":"

Not sure if Pac-Man or if eclipse twitter.com/jtotheizzoe/st…

— Joe Hanson (@jtotheizzoe) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

Not sure if Pac-Man or if eclipse twitter.com/jtotheizzoe/st…

— Joe Hanson (@jtotheizzoe) Read More"},{"id":"9","created":"05/20/2012 9:15 PM EDT","title":"Photo From 'Wired' Writer Sam Arbesman","tweet_link":"9_photo-from-wired-writer-sam-arbesman","entry_text":"

The solar eclipse in progress cc @eagereyes @darbesman twitter.com/arbesman/statu…

— Samuel Arbesman (@arbesman) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

The solar eclipse in progress cc @eagereyes @darbesman Read More"},{"id":"8","created":"05/20/2012 9:10 PM EDT","title":"Smiling Eclipse Viewers In Yokohama, Japan","tweet_link":"8_smiling-eclipse-viewers-in-yokohama-japan","entry_text":"

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"},{"id":"7","created":"05/20/2012 9:08 PM EDT","title":"Eclipse Seen Through Scaffolding In Beiging","tweet_link":"7_eclipse-seen-through-scaffolding-in-beiging","entry_text":"

\"solar

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"},{"id":"6","created":"05/20/2012 8:54 PM EDT","title":"Viewing Eclipse Taboo In Some Cultures","tweet_link":"6_viewing-eclipse-taboo-in-some-cultures","entry_text":"

Solar eclipse is a \"bad omen\" among the Navajo, says report in Indian Country Today. bit.ly/KuQZ8j

— Susan Hogan (@StribSusan) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

Solar eclipse is a \"bad omen\" among the Navajo, says report in Indian Country Today. bit.ly/KuQZ8j

— Susan Hogan (@StribSusan) Read More"},{"id":"5","created":"05/20/2012 8:50 PM EDT","title":"Here's The Crowd At Griffith Observatory in L.A.","tweet_link":"5_heres-the-crowd-at-griffith-observatory-in-la","entry_text":"

\"If

","short_text":"

"},{"id":"4","created":"05/20/2012 8:46 PM EDT","title":"How Eclipse Looks Via Pinhole Camera","tweet_link":"4_how-eclipse-looks-via-pinhole-camera","entry_text":"

Already you can see the difference! #pinhole #eclipsetwitpic.com/9nh214

— karrie (@karrie) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

Already you can see the difference! #pinhole #eclipseRead More"},{"id":"3","created":"05/20/2012 8:35 PM EDT","title":"Great View In Albuquerque!","tweet_link":"3_great-view-in-albuquerque","entry_text":"

One of the few times living in Albuquerque is going to pay off #solareclipse

— Susan Collins (@Sus_collins) May 21, 2012

","short_text":"

One of the few times living in Albuquerque is going to pay off #solareclipse

— Susan Collins (@Sus_collins) Read More"},{"id":"2","created":"05/20/2012 8:31 PM EDT","title":"Moon starting to block out sun","tweet_link":"2_moon-starting-to-block-out-sun","entry_text":"

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"},{"id":"1","created":"05/20/2012 8:15 PM EDT","title":"Here we go!","tweet_link":"1_here-we-go","entry_text":"

Get ready for some amazing photos!

","short_text":"

Get ready for some amazing photos!

"}]

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