San Francisco Amateur Astronomers Club Announces Viewing Opportunities for “Ring of Fire” Annular Eclipse on May 20 in Northern California

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Amateur Astronomy club promotes safe viewing of major eclipse at special events.

The San Francisco Amateur Astronomers (SFAA), an astronomy club based in San Francisco, California, announces two sponsored events for the general public to safely watch the upcoming solar eclipse on May 20, 2012. The eclipse of the Sun, when viewed from certain areas of Northern California, will appear as a “Ring of Fire” and the SFAA will provide specially equipped telescopes for safe viewing of this spectacular event.

The SFAA will be in two locations on May 20. San Francisco’s Marina Green and Northern California’s Mt. Shasta area. In San Francisco, the solar eclipse will reach a very deep partial phase, providing a riveting image of the Sun reduced by over 90% of its normal shape. The SFAA is also sponsoring a road trip to Northern California for viewing of the full ‘Annular’, or ring phase of the eclipse, in which the Sun will appear to be a “Ring of Fire” with the entire center of the Sun’s surface blocked out by the Moon. The SFAA will have special telescopes at both locations, equipped with safe solar filters so the general public can view the Sun’s surface directly. The events will take place between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Sunday afternoon May 20. The peak eclipse will be at 6:28 pm.

“The public is fascinated by major astronomical events such as eclipses, and the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers want to provide information and safety so event such as this eclipse can be witnessed safely,” said SFAA President Sue-Ellen Speight. “We are hosting events and providing the public with helpful information on our website to ensure that all can enjoy this event without risk of eye injury.”

For more information about these two events, and on safe eclipse viewing, visit the SFAA website at http://www.sfaa-astronomy.org.

About the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers
The San Francisco Amateur Astronomers (SFAA) is a San Francisco-based club for astronomy hobbyists and enthusiasts, committed to supporting and growing the field of astronomy for the general public and for its members. The SFAA hosts lectures by leading astronomers, “star parties” for the general public to view the sky through telescopes, and special events for astronomy hobbyists to learn about telescope making, borrow club telescopes, and to view the night sky in a shared environment for learning and discovery. For more information and a calendar of events sponsored by the SFAA, visit the website at http://www.sfaa-astronomy.org.

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