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May 20–21, 2012 Annular Solar Eclipse

The first solar eclipse in 2012 will be an annular solar eclipse on May 20–21. This is the first annular eclipse visible from the United States in 18 years. The eclipse will also be seen from eastern Asia and the northern Pacific. It starts in Asia and ends in the US.

All eclipses for years 1900 – 2100

Was this Annular Solar Eclipse visible in Washington DC?

What the Eclipse Looked Like Near the Maximum Point

The animation shows what the eclipse approximately looked like near the maximum point. The curvature of the Moon's path is due to the Earth's rotation.

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Where the Eclipse Was Seen

Try our new interactive eclipse maps. Zoom in and search for accurate eclipse times and visualizations for any location.

Path of the Eclipse Shadow

Regions that saw, at least, a partial eclipse: North/East Europe, Much of Asia, Much of North America, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic.

Expand for some cities where annular eclipse was visible
Expand for some cities where partial eclipse was visible

Was this eclipse visible in Washington DC?

Eclipse Shadow Path

Portion of Sun covered by the Moon (Eclipse obscuration)






The dark areas symbolize night and twilight.

When the Eclipse Happened Worldwide — Timeline

The eclipse started at one location and ended at another. The times below are actual times (in UTC) when the eclipse occurred.

EventUTC TimeTime in Washington DC*
First location to see the partial eclipse beginMay 20 at 20:56:07May 20 at 4:56:07 pm
First location to see the full eclipse beginMay 20 at 22:06:19May 20 at 6:06:19 pm
Maximum EclipseMay 20 at 23:52:47May 20 at 7:52:47 pm
Last location to see the full eclipse endMay 21 at 01:39:11May 20 at 9:39:11 pm
Last location to see the partial eclipse endMay 21 at 02:49:23May 20 at 10:49:23 pm

* These local times do not refer to a specific location but indicate the beginning, peak, and end of the eclipse on a global scale, each line referring to a different location. Please note that the local times for Washington DC are meant as a guideline in case you want to view the eclipse via a live webcam. They do not mean that the eclipse is necessarily visible there.

Eclipse calculations usually accurate to a few seconds.

Eclipses visible in Washington DC.

Next Annular Solar Eclipse will be on May 9 – May 10, 2013.

How Many People Can See This Eclipse?

Number of People Seeing...Number of People*Fraction of World Population
Any part of the eclipse2,510,000,00031.84%
At least 10% partial2,230,000,00028.30%
At least 20% partial2,070,000,00026.27%
At least 30% partial1,970,000,00025.05%
At least 40% partial1,880,000,00023.83%
At least 50% partial1,800,000,00022.82%
At least 60% partial1,520,000,00019.34%
At least 70% partial1,000,000,00012.67%
At least 80% partial571,000,0007.24%
Totality or annularity258,000,0003.27%

* The number of people refers to the resident population (as a round number) in areas where the eclipse is visible. timeanddate has calculated these numbers using raw population data provided by the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University. The raw data is based on population estimates from the year 2000 to 2020.

An Eclipse Never Comes Alone!

A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.

Usually, there are two eclipses in a row, but other times, there are three during the same eclipse season.

All eclipses 1900 — 2199

This is the first eclipse this season.

Second eclipse this season: June 4, 2012 — Partial Lunar Eclipse