Upcoming solar eclipse to project 'ring of fire'
(CNN) -- Thousands of people are planning viewing parties for the upcoming , a rare event in which the sun will appear as a thin ring behind the moon.
The eclipse will begin over Asia on Monday morning, when it will be visible in southern Japan and southern China.
In the United States, the eclipse will be visible on a path from northwestern Texas through New Mexico, northeastern Arizona, southern Utah, Nevada, northern California and southwestern Oregon late Sunday.
"I recommend anyone who has the chance to see this, because while they do happen occasionally, it's a fairly rare event," said Jeffrey Newmark, a solar physics specialist with NASA. "It's a neat thing to see."
During an annular eclipse, the moon does not block the entirety of the sun, but leaves a bright ring of visible light at the edges, according to NASA.
"For the May eclipse, the moon will be at the furthest distance from Earth that it ever achieves -- meaning that it will block the smallest possible portion of the sun, and leave the largest possible bright ring around the outside," the agency said on its website.
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