The view from the Exploratorium's front porch on June 10, 2002 at 5:30 p.m. (PDT)
This partial eclipse was a special kind called an "annular eclipse."
During an annular eclipse, the moon passes directly in front of the sun, but doesn't completely cover it because the moon's disk appears smaller than the disk of the sun. The annular phase of an eclipse can only be seen from a very narrow track called the path of annularity. Although the annular path for this eclipse was nearly 14,000 kilometers long, it was only 13 to 78 kilometers wide.
The shadow's path began in Indonesia, traversed the Pacific Ocean, crossed Guam, and reached totality 2600 miles northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. Totality was brief, a mere 26 seconds. The shadow continued past the southern tip of Baja, California, and ended 30 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Here in San Francisco, we were able to see the moon cover about 70% of the sun. In this archived webcast, join staff scientists Ron Hipschman and Paul Doherty from the front porch of the Exploratorium as they discuss why eclipses occur and demonstrate safe ways to view an eclipse.