An annular eclipse of the Sun occurred on Sunday 20 May, 2012 UT, lasting from 20:56 on 20 May–02:49 on 21 May UT. The Sun was 94% covered in a moderate annular eclipse, lasting 5 minutes and 46 seconds and covering a broad path up to 237 km wide. It was visible from China and Japan, across the north Pacific, and into the western US. The partial eclipse was visible in eastern Asia and most of North America.

The timings of the phases of the overall eclipse worldwide are as follows. In any particular place it would have been seen for a significantly shorter duration as the shadow moved across the Earth:

Partial eclipse began: 20:56:07 UT
Annular eclipse began: 22:06:17 UT
Maximum eclipse: 23:52:47 UT
Annular eclipse ended: 01:39:11 on 21 May UT
Partial eclipse ended: 02:49:21 on 21 May UT

During this eclipse the Sun was 0.527° in apparent diameter, 1.2% smaller than average. The Moon was just a day past apogee, making it very small. At maximum eclipse it was 0.497° in apparent diameter, which is 6.4% smaller than average; this was not large enough to cover the Sun, which is why this was an annular eclipse. The statistics page has information on the ranges of the sizes of the Sun and Moon.

The annular eclipse began in China, then clipped the north edge of Taiwan before running up the east coast of Japan. Crossing the Pacific the track reached the USA in northern California, also being seen as annular in southern Oregon; then crossed Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, finally ending in Texas.

Interactive Map

This map shows the visibility of the eclipse. The shaded area saw the annular solar eclipse; however, near the edges of this area, the eclipse was very short. The bold line shows the centre of the path, where the eclipse lasted longest.

Use the zoom controls to zoom in and out; hover your mouse over any point on the centreline to see the time and duration of the eclipse at that point. You can pan and zoom the map to see detail for any part of the eclipse path.

Overview Map

This map sourced from NASA's Eclipse Web Site shows the visibility of the annular solar eclipse. It also shows the broader area in which a partial eclipse was seen. (Click on it for the full-sized version.)

Eclipse Season and Saros Series

This eclipse season contains 2 eclipses:

This was the 58th eclipse in solar Saros series 128.The surrounding eclipses in this Saros series are:

Eclipse Parameters

UT Date/time (max) 23:52:46 on 20 May UT TDT Date/time (max) 23:53:54 on 20 May TDT
Saros Series 128 Number in Series 57
Penumbral Magnitiude Central Magnitiude 0.9439
Gamma 0.4828 Path Width (km) 237
Delta T 1m08s Error ± 0m01s (95%)
Penumbral Duration Partial Duration
Total Duration 5m46s
Partial Rating Total Rating
Sun Distance 151416093 km (89.4%) Moon Distance 405852 km (98.3%)
Sun Diameter 0.527° Moon Diameter 0.490° - 0.497°
Apogee 16:14 on 19 May UT Perigee 13:20 on 3 Jun UT
Contact p1 20:56:07 on 20 May UT Contact p2
Contact u1 22:06:17 on 20 May UT Contact u2 22:11:46 on 20 May UT
Max eclipse 23:52:47 on 20 May UT
Contact u3 01:33:43 on 21 May UT Contact u4 01:39:11 on 21 May UT
Contact p3 Contact p4 02:49:21 on 21 May UT

Note that while all dates and times on this site (except where noted) are in UT, which is within a second of civil time, the dates and times shown in NASA's eclipse listings are in the TDT timescale.

The Sun and Moon distances are shown in km, and as a percentage of their minimum - maximum distances; hence 0% is the closest possible (Earth's perihelion, or the Moon's closest possible perigee) and 100% is the farthest (aphelion, the farthest apogee). The statistics page has information on the ranges of sizes of the Sun and Moon.

Data last updated: 2015-06-21 22:11:46 UTC.