Tucson Will See Quite a Bit of May 20 Total Solar Eclipse

May 11, 2012

By Teya Vitu

Tucson will have the most spectacular sunset, perhaps ever, on May 20.

This is roughly what the sun will look like in Tucson at about 6:40 p.m. on May 20.

This will have nothing to do with thunderstorm clouds radiating all sorts of color.

This sky show will feature just the sun and the moon.

A total solar eclipse (technically, an annular solar eclipse) will travel across the Pacific Ocean late in the afternoon on May 20 and cross into the United States in far northern California. The eclipse’s center line (where all of the moon is in front of the sun) will pass just east of Reno and Carson City, NV.

The best viewings of the total annular eclipse in Arizona will be in Page, Canyon de Chelly and the northern reaches of the Navajo Nation. The total eclipse also passes directly over Albuquerque.

In Tucson, the moon will spill over one edge of the sun, but Tucsonans will still have the moon blocking 86.9 percent of the sun.

The eclipse will be at its maximum in the couple minutes before and after 6:40 p.m. in Tucson. The moon takes it’s first nibble out of the sun at 5:31 p.m. and the eclipse ends at 7:41 p.m. Note: the sun will set in Tucson while it’s still in eclipse.

This is called an annular eclipse because the moon will be a bit smaller than the sun. For a true total eclipse, the moon blocks the sun entirely.