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Utah Travel Headlines

Monday, May 14, 2012

Where To Shoot The "Ring Of Fire" Eclipse

A rare "ring of fire" eclipse will occur on Sunday, starting at about 6:20 pm Utah time. Astronomers say southwestern Utah will offer some of the best spots to see the eclipse. Optimum viewing will occur along a line that extends through through the town of Kanarraville, over Zion Park and across Lake Powell at Wahweap.

When the moon moves in front of the sun, it will not quite cover the entire circle. In sweet spots along that line, the moon will be centered inside the sun's orb and a thin "right of fire" will exactly circle it.

Kanarraville is being touted as one of the best accessible spots that will offer excellent viewing. It is located just south of Cedar City, along I-15. Thousands of people are expected to converge on the town to witness the event.

North and south of that line, the moon will be offset, not exactly covering the middle of the sun. The farther away, the greater the offset. The sight should be impressive anywhere in Utah. This news article has more details.

Kanarraville is a good choice if you just want to view the eclipse. I want to go a step further and shoot photos and video with dramatic scenery in the foreground. Where should I go to do that? My initial thoughts were to shoot from a boat on Lake Powell, or from a spot in Zion Canyon.

The sun will still be fairly high above the horizon when the eclipse starts. The "total" part will occur at about 7:30 and last about 4 minutes, when the sun is lower. It will then take about an hour for the moon to move away. I'd like to find a spot where the background scenery will be dramatic during that entire time period.

I think I'll shoot from the top of Angles Landing, overlooking Zion Canyon. That should be quite spectacular.

It will be fun, regardless of how my photos turn out.


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