Much of the Western United States is going to be able to see an annular eclipse on the evening of May 20, 2012 from about 6 to 7 p.m. Observing the eclipse is fun and easy with a pinhole viewer that you can build at home.
In an annular eclipse the sun passes in front of the moon, but the moon isn't big enough in the sky to completely obscure the sun at totality. Southern Oregon and Northern California will get the best view at about 6:30 p.m. The eclipse will track from there through Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and into Texas.
Even if you aren't in the direct path if you live in the Western United States you can see the sun become a crescent as the moon passes in front of it. If you live as far East as Chicago you may be able to see the sun in a partial eclipse as it sets. See the NASA page linked below for more information.
It is not safe to view the sun directly. If you want to observe the eclipse please use the viewer described here or equipment specifically designed for sun viewing. The direct sun can damage your eyes through sunglasses, film negatives, mylar balloons, and other filters. Never look at the sun through a telescope.
If you want a bigger image you need a longer tube. I was able to take two cardboard tubes which nested just inside each other to double the length. I taped a paperclip to the inner tube so it couldn't slip all the way into the outer tube. Affix the aluminum foil to the outer tube and the paper viewer to the inner tube for best results. Start with the tubes nested, find the image of the sun, and then gently extend the outer tube keeping the image of the sun in view.
You can find much more information about eclipses at this NASA link: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html
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