Annular eclipse to occur Sunday, visible in Southern Utah

By Cristina Rendon

Published 05/17 2012 06:07PM

Updated 05/17 2012 07:41PM

SALT LAKE (ABC 4 News) – An annular eclipse will be visible in Southern Utah Sunday evening, causing excitement in thousands of people across the beehive state.

Seth Jarvis with Clark Planetarium said the facility is planning on hosting a viewing party.

“The sun is going to turn into this super thin donut of really bright light,” Jarvis said.

The effect is also being called the “ring of fire.” The moon will come between earth and the sun. When the moon covers the sun, sky watchers will see a blazing ring around the moon because it is smaller than the sun.

The annular eclipse is scheduled to appear around 6:20 p.m. mountain time.

Annular eclipses may be spectacular, but are potentially dangerous. You should not look at the eclipse with the naked eye. It could cause serious or permanent eye damage.

“Sometimes people think if there is no pain, then it won’t hurt physically,” Jarvis said. “That’s not true. You could cause damage to your retina.”

An eclipse viewer or other device made specifically for looking at the sun will suffice.

“You know it is for the sun if the only thing you can see through it is the sun” Jarvis added.

People are planning viewing parties in several locations across the state, which include the Olympic fountains at the Gateway, Library square, the observatory at the University of Utah.

The cities of Murray and Sandy are also planning to host viewing events.

The best place to catch the eclipse will in Southeastern Utah, specifically near Cedar City.

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