Albuquerque's high desert location makes for clear skies and calm weather much of the year. This spring, it will be the place to be for astronomy buffs and amateur star gazers alike. Two astronomical "close encounters" will take place - and both are visible in Albuquerque.
On Sunday, May 20, 2012 there is an unusual solar event called an "annular eclipse." During an annular eclipse, the moon covers most of the sun's disk leaving a thin ring of light around the edge. Albuquerque is one of only a few places to see it, and is the most convenient viewing location to travel to.
Photo by sancho_panza, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Another solar event will take place just two weeks later on Tuesday, June 5th. This event is a Transit of Venus; where the planet Venus visibly and slowly moves across the disk of the sun. This won't happen again until 2117. If you miss this, you will never see it again in your lifetime...and it is also viewed perfectly in Albuquerque.
Plan now to enjoy the wonders of our solar system with viewing opportunities and local educational activities for the entire family. The annular eclipse is being billed as the "ultimate astronomical event" and will take place just before sunset on Sunday, May 20th. The Transit of Venus will take place on June 5th. Both of these rare occurrences include educational sessions leading up to the solar events. The following locations will be hosting special events to facilitate safe viewing of the eclipse and educate enthusiasts on what they are seeing in the sky.
Some sites are optimal for viewing the annular eclipse, but will not be offering educational speakers or events.
Sandia Peak Tramway will be operating their regular schedule on May 20th making trips every 20-25 minutes throughout the day on a first come, first serve basis. Hours 9am– 8pm (last car uphill) with downhill trips until all guests are down. They will have special eclipse viewing glasses available for purchase. High Finance Restaurant (505-242-9052) and Sandiago’s Mexican Grill (505-856-6692) will be taking reservations for dinner last seating 8pm. www.sandiapeak.com