Lawrence residents won't have the opportunity to view an annular eclipse that will be seen on the West Coast, a Kansas University physics and astronomy professor said today.
Stephen Shawl, the professor, said the eclipse will begin "a little bit after sunset" here.
"So I'm afraid we won't see it," Shawl said.
Lawrence's sunset Saturday will be 5:13 p.m. Shawl said people on the West Coast will be able to observe the first half of the eclipse, then sunset will occur. The rare astronomical phenomenon makes a once-in-200-centuries visit to the West Coast at dusk.
The celestial event an annular eclipse at sunset will darken the winter sky about 80 minutes before the normal time of sunset for Saturday.
An annular eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly in front of the sun, but because of differences in their orbits, the moon is not big enough to block totally the sun's light.
The sun will sink below the horizon while still eclipsed. At the height of an annular eclipse, a ring or annulus, in Latin of light is visible around the shadow of the moon.