Ring of Fire Eclipse: When and How to See It

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Ring of Fire eclipse -- which occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the sun -- will go down in the skies above the western US and eastern Asian on May 20th. National parks across the nation are having viewing parties to celebrate the event, which hasn't happened since 1994. If eclipses are your thing, then you'd better clear your schedule, as you may not live long enough to see the event transpire again.

The eclipse, which follows an 8,500 mile path across the heavens, will last for nearly three-and-a-half hours during the late afternoon. Unfortunately, depending on where you are at the time it occurs, the event may be witnessed for two glorious hours to five brief minutes. Those who live on the Eastern Seaboard will be completely in the dark, though you can check out the event in its entirety by logging on to various websites that will be streaming the eclipse live.

Other areas will only see partial eclipse, while others will be able to see the moon cover nearly 95% of the sky. The locations hosting viewing parties for the latter are Petroglyph National Monument, Redwoods National Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Zion National Park, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

Of course, if you're going to watch the eclipse as it unfolds, then you're going to need some sort of protection. Looking at the ring of fire directly may result in severe eye trauma, which means that you may not be able to look at another thing for as long as you live, let alone an eclipse. Your best bet, assuming that you can readily locate a pair, are wielder's glasses with a number 14 filter. Can't find any? Don't stress about it -- just punch a small hole in a cardboard box and you'll be on your way. Remember: Skywatch responsibly, folks!

For added fun, listen to this song on repeat until the eclipse is over.

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