Watch the 'Ring of Fire' annular solar eclipse online

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   May 9, 2013 at 11:57 AM   |   Comments

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May 9 (UPI) -- The moon will pass in front of the sun Thursday in an annual solar eclipse that will begin at local sunrise over the wilderness of Western Australia.

The "Ring of Fire" eclipse is so named because it occurs when the moon appears about 5 percent smaller than the sun in the sky. When the moon crosses the sun, a ring of light will be visible around the outline of the moon.

Of course, the sun is much larger than the moon, but because it is further away, they can often have the same apparent size when observed from Earth.

The full effect will be visible to very few people, in parts of Australia and the Pacific region. A partial eclipse will be visible to the Hawaiian Islands, the southern Philippines, eastern Indonesia, parts of Australia, parts of Papua New Guinea and a bit of New Zealand.

For skywatchers everywhere else, the online Slooh Space Camera will begin live streaming the eclipse at 5:30 p.m. EDT, as seen by an observatory in Australia. You can watch it live on SPACE.com, courtesy of Slooh.

The space camera will also host a live feed from the Prescott Solar Observatory to show viewers shots of the sun from Arizona. Expert commentators will include Patrick Paolucci, Bob Berman, Matt Francis and Paul Cox.

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