How rare is “rare”?

Annular Eclipse (Photo: Juan Fernandez)Exactly how rare is it to view a total solar eclipse?

While at least two or up to five solar eclipses can happen on Earth every year, they are not all total solar eclipses.

And even when they do happen, they take place only along a narrow strip along our planet. (Sometimes they take place over an ocean and except for those who make a special trip, very few people see them at all.)

On October 3, 2005 an annular eclipse took place in Spain.

(Annular eclipses are like total eclipses because the Moon is in front of the Sun, yet appears visually smaller than the Sun, leaving a border or ring around the dark silhouette of the Moon.)

It was the first total or annular eclipse in Spain since 1748.

So these occurrences are pretty rare. Be sure to catch the one coming up on July 22, 2009, even if it’s in real time via “live” feed on

Annular Eclipse (Photo: Juan Fernandez)


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