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Solar eclipse to take place May 21

2012/05/12 20:02:17

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) People in Taiwan can expect to see an annular solar eclipse on May 21, and that last time such an eclipse -- shaped like a ring -- was observed in the country was 54 years ago, the Central Weather Bureau's observatory said Saturday.

The eclipse, the observatory said, will occur at 4:56 a.m. on May 21 and end at 10:49 a.m. that day, with the annular eclipse expected to take place around 6:10 a.m. on Taiwan proper.

However, the annular eclipse, which will last three to four minutes, can be seen only in northern Taiwan and on the outlying islands of Matsu and Kinmen.

The rest of the country will just see a partial eclipse, the observatory said.

Other parts of the world that are able to view the phenomenon include southeast China, Japan and the west coast of the United States, the observatory said.

If people miss the chance to see the eclipse this time, another annular solar eclipse is not expected in Taiwan until 2020, according to the observatory.

While cautioning people to use suitable protective gear or the pinhole method to prevent damage to their eyes when viewing the solar eclipse, the bureau said it will provide a live broadcast of the event on its website:

(By Wang Shu-fen and Kay Liu)