Category Archives: sun

The Next Annular Eclipse is May 20, 2012

On Sunday, May 20, 2012, there will be a solar eclipse. This one is special because it is an annular eclipse. It has been eighteen years since an eclipse of this type was visible from the continental United States.

We know that the moon circles the Earth. However, the moon doesn’t travel in an exact circular path. Instead, it is more like an elliptical orbit. This means that the moon will, at certain times, be a little bit closer or a little bit farther from the Earth than usual. The moon’s orbit can vary from 221,457 miles to 252,712 miles away from the Earth.

When an annular eclipse happens, it looks like the moon is passing in front of the Sun. The moon won’t appear to completely block out the sun, though. This is because on May 20, 2012, the moon will be closer to the Earth than usual, at around 225,000 miles from us. The result is that the moon will look as though it has a bright ring of fire surrounding it.

Not everyone is going to be able to view the upcoming annular eclipse. It will be visible to people who are in southern Oregon and northern California, and it will become visible to people who are in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas.

Much of the rest of the United States will be able to see at least some of this special eclipse. Those of you who live on the east coast of the United States will not be able to see this eclipse because the Sun will already have set. The eclipse might be visible in parts of China and Japan as well, unless the weather causes too much cloud cover while the eclipse is happening.

Obviously, one should not stare into the Sun. You shouldn’t stare directly at an eclipse, either. I highly recommend that you do a little homework and learn about what you need to do in order to safely view an eclipse. It is a special eclipse, but, your eyesight is even more precious. Be smart, and be careful!

Image: Solar Eclipse by BigStock

Sun to bundle Google Toolbar with Products?

I am not sure what to think about the announcement that both companies are going to make it easier for consumers to acquire Sun’s Java runtime, Google’s Toolbar and the desktop suite. This is something I had not contemplated, they said it will be optional, the question that needs to ask how many unsuspecting non technically inclined people are going to be sucked in and install the Google Toolbar without even realizing it.

This is a curious move indeed considering the privacy policy issue that surround the Google toolbar. Sure they have some legal mumbo jumbo that people can read and opt out options but how many really read it or protect what is being sent to Google. I am sure that Google is thrilled and that Sun is probably pretty happy for what can be considered by some as positive press. They sure are in need of some considering all the hate and discontent that they caused in the past couple of years.

I am a bit disappointed but we will see what the future brings. But bundling of the Google toolbar into their install packages just leaves a very bad taste in my mouth the practice has been frowned upon as bundling applications from third parties has usually lead to spyware or worse residing on peoples desktops without them even knowing it. [Sun]