Rare solar events predicted
May 18, 2012
Three visually distinctive solar events will occur during the next two weeks, with a rare partial solar eclipse visible Sunday evening. (San Francisco Chronicle)
A partial lunar eclipse will follow several days later, and then will come a rare visual of Venus crossing the face of the sun — an event called a “transit.”
The solar eclipse will start at about 5:16 p.m. and last about an hour, said astronomer Andrew Fraknoi of Foothill College and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
All eclipses, including these, can be dangerous to eyes if viewed without protection. Dark sunglasses are not adequate, Fraknoi warned.
More than 35 percent of the full moon’s light will be blocked June 4 when Earth shadow’s the moon’s face at around 3 a.m. And the following day, Venus does her thing, blocking a corner of the sun starting at about 3 p.m.