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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.

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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)

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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 20:56:09May 20 at 4:56:09 pm
First location to see the full eclipse beginMay 20 at 22:24:17May 20 at 6:24:17 pm
Maximum EclipseMay 20 at 23:52:47May 20 at 7:52:47 pm
Last location to see the full eclipse endMay 21 at 01:38:22May 20 at 9:38:22 pm
Last location to see the partial eclipse endMay 21 at 02:49:21May 20 at 10:49:21 pm

* Local times shown do not refer to when the eclipse could be observed from Washington DC. Instead, they indicate the times when the eclipse began, was at its max, and ended, somewhere else on Earth. The corresponding local times are useful if you wanted to view the eclipse via a live webcam.

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.

Eclipses Come in Pairs!

A lunar eclipse always occurs about 2 weeks before or after a solar eclipse. On some occasions, a solar eclipse can be both preceded and followed by a lunar eclipse!

Following paired eclipse: June 4, 2012 — Partial Lunar Eclipse