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Old 01-08-2012, 05:55 PM   #1
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A place to be on May 20th 2012

If you're into this sort of thing, some lucky folks living on west side of the US get to watch a full annular solar eclipse on the 20th of May. The next one for the USA isn't until Aug 21 2017. From what I've read, this year’s event will only knock out 88% of the sun, so unfortunately it will not darken the skies as much as a total solar event does but it is rare to see one of these.



ALSO BEWARE:
Looking at the sun during annularity (when the moon is perfectly aligned) will damage your eyes as much as looking at the sun on a clear day. Specific sun filters need to be used while viewing or shooting pictures and dark glasses or welding goggles will not protect your eyes from damage.
Please read this

The sky should darken enough to be able to see Venus all the while becoming a darker blue tint. The site angle from the horizon is supposed to be low; 22 degrees at the California coast to a lower sun setting view of 5 degree angle at Albuquerque NM, so a good view of an unobstructed horizon is preferred. Further south and east, photographers should be able to catch the eclipse during sunset.
The event starts in California about 6:24 PM PDT and ends in the Texas area around 7:36 PM MDT.

Other areas of the US except some of the more eastern most states might see a partial eclipse but for those in the zone it should last about 4-6 minutes.

It hits the lower 48 around Klamath Ca. close to the Oregon border then travels southeast ending around Abilene Texas.

NASA map

Some of the larger cities in the path include:
Eureka
Redding and Red Bluff
Chico
Tahoe
Reno
Fallon
Tonopah
St George
Cedar City
Bryce Canyon
Grand Canyon
Four Corners
Gallup
Albuquerque
Santa Fe
Roswell... Maybe see a real UFO?
Lubbock

This is a good one for the kids as well as the photographers. Filters are not really that expensive, but may be higher priced and harder to find as time gets closer.
You can always build a cheap viewer

I'll be looking for cool clear weather. Lassen NP and Great Basin NP are on my list as a viewing point. After the daytime event is over, both parks are great spots for nighttime sky viewing.

Dave
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:52 PM   #2
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A place to be on May 20th 2012

Dave

Thanks for the heads up and the links.


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Old 01-08-2012, 07:10 PM   #3
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Re: A place to be on May 20th 2012

I'm close to these areas:

Tonopah
St George
Cedar City
Bryce Canyon
Grand Canyon

But where is the very best place in the western US to see the eclipse? Or I guess I should say, where are you going to be with your telescope? That's the place I want to be.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:41 PM   #4
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Re: A place to be on May 20th 2012

The average cloud cover reports show St George and Bryce as being good places to be at for clear skies. I'll probably be in the Redding/Tahoe region or Nevada to do a little off roading as well but I still don't know for sure. Might look at Cedar Breaks

Because it's so short, you're best off having a personal viewing film or spotting scope with the correct filter to view through. To me, it's more of a photographic event because the sun will still be fairly bright. I remember seeing one of these in the early 60's... summer turned to overcast like conditions but the sky was blue.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:06 PM   #5
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Re: A place to be on May 20th 2012

There is a large grassy area to the southwest of Cedar Breaks just off the highway. This seems like a great place to see an eclipse. I will have to put it on my calendar.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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Re: A place to be on May 20th 2012

Thought I'd bump this thread. Looks like I might shoot for the Nevada area.
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Old 05-04-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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Re: A place to be on May 20th 2012

Dave,

Cathedral Gorge SP campground near Panaca, Nevada is right at the center of the eclipse pathway. I'm sure that area is going to be packed, but you may want to check it out to see if you can get a reservation. They even have showers. That's were I was hoping to go, but it looks like I will be stuck in Las Vegas.

There also are other campgrounds in the area and plenty of boondocking spots.

Also, in case you don't know, The Great 2012 Astronomy Festival will be held at Great Basin National Park on June 14-16. This is definitely one I would be at if I could. Here's some info about it:

http://www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/2 ... stival.htm

Have a great time viewing the eclipse. If you take pictures, please post them on here. And if you go through Vegas on your way, drop by and say hello.

Mac

P.S.: There are also a lot of old mining and ghost towns in the area if you're interested in checking those out. If you need directions, let me know. Don't forget to check out Pioche, Nevada. It's a fun town to explore.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:25 PM   #8
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Re: A place to be on May 20th 2012

It was not on the list, but I will be heading to the Moab/Arches area to check it out and give my van its first trip.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: A place to be on May 20th 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
Also, in case you don't know, The Great 2012 Astronomy Festival will be held at Great Basin National Park on June 14-16. This is definitely one I would be at if I could. Here's some info about it:

http://www.nps.gov/grba/planyourvisit/2 ... stival.htm

Mac

P.S.: There are also a lot of old mining and ghost towns in the area if you're interested in checking those out. If you need directions, let me know. Don't forget to check out Pioche, Nevada. It's a fun town to explore.
Looks like we're headed to GBNP for at least one night of the Astronomy Festival. We'll probably get there via mountain biking around McGaffey and Gallup, NM followed by some Nevada wanderings if anyone is any of those neighborhoods. We'll work on an itinerary soon. Suggestions are welcome.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #10
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Re: A place to be on May 20th 2012

Baker, Neveda is the best place to see the full eclipse .... about 96% lasting over 3 minutes. Great Basin national park is next to Baker .... starts around 5:20 in afternoon and takes about an hour to cover the sun
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