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Image of Eclipse Path from NASA

Watch the Annular Solar Eclipse with the Planetarium, May 20, 2012!

Solar eclipses are not rare events, but perfect eclipses visible from our backyard are!

On Sunday evening, May 20, 2012, Reno will be one of a few cities in the world where an annular solar eclipse will be visible in its entirety (weather permitting!) in perfect alignment. The Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center will host a viewing event to watch this spectacular occurrence, where the Sun and the Moon will be exactly in line and — because the Moon’s apparent size is smaller than the Sun — the Sun will show as a bright ring (annulus) surrounding the Moon.

Reno is one of the only cities in the United States that will be very near the central path of this annular eclipse, which will be visible in North America only across parts of the southwestern United States. The period of maximum eclipse as viewed from Reno will be from 6:28-6:33 p.m. on May 20.

The next annular eclipse viewable from North America will not appear for another 20 years, and the next total eclipse viewable from across Northern Nevada won’t occur until 2045!

As an encore to the May 20 annular eclipse, a much more rare transit of Venus in front of the Sun will occur on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 5, where viewers can see a small black dot of Venus crossing the face of the Sun from about 3 p.m. to sunset.

Annular Solar Eclipse resources

Educators: The Planetarium is offering instructional classes for educators on using the events to teach astronomy within Nevada state education standards. Activity guides for eclipse viewing, solar viewers available in bulk, and guest speakers for school visits are also available. Visit our Educators page for more information.

Out-of-town visitors: We have partnered with the Silver Legacy Resort Casino to offer discount rates for our eclipse visitors! Visit our Visitors page for more information.

Community members: Free talks about the coming eclipse will be held at the Nevada Historical Society on the third Saturday of each month, Feb. through May. A free pre-eclipse star party will be held at the Sparks Marina on Friday, May 18.

Friends of Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center members: Visit our Members page for information about our special member dinner and afterparty, held May 20 from 7-9 p.m. For more information about joining, visit our Friends of the Planetarium membership page.

NASA: For more information about this and other solar eclipses, visit the NASA website.