'Ring of fire' solar eclipse comes Sunday

'Ring of fire' solar eclipse comes Sunday

Credit: NASA

'Ring of fire' solar eclipse comes Sunday

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by Associated Press and Jordan Gray/KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on May 19, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Updated Sunday, May 20 at 7:56 PM

BOISE – The western United States and eastern Asia is expected to be dazzled by a solar spectacle Sunday when the moon slides across the sun creating a "ring of fire."
 
But scientists are cautioning viewers to either wear protective eyewear or attend planned viewing events to avoid risk of eye injury.

Fred Espenak, an eclipse expert at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said filters are needed because the ring of sunlight will be blindingly bright.

The eclipse will begin around 6:17 p.m. in the Boise area. The maximum, but incomplete coverage will occur around 7:25 p.m. According to Leif Edmondson with the Boise Astronomical Society, the eclipse will achieve about 85 to 90 percent coverage from our perspective in the Treasure Valley. 

Want to learn more about the eclipse? NASA has a great page that explains the phenomenon right here.

What you probably want to know is how to view the eclipse safely. For that, astronomers recommend using either a solar filter in front of a telescope or camera, or using eclipse viewing glasses that reduce the sun's brightness and filter ultraviolet and infrared radiation.

There's also the pinhole projection method. For that, you need to punch a hole in a piece of cardboard and use it to create a projection on a wall a few feet away. For more ways to view the eclipse or on how to make a pinhole projector, click here.

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