This Friday, November 25th, is known for many reasons. In the U.S. it is known as the day after the holiday of Thanksgiving. It is also one of the biggest shopping days of the year or "Black Friday". But for those who like to keep on eye on the heavens it is also another very important day.

On this day an annular eclipse will occur and it will be the largest and last partial solar eclipse of the year. An annular eclipse is very similar to a total eclipse, except that the Moon is at a further distance from Earth in its orbit. Because of this the Moon does not completely cover the body of the Sun. Instead there will be a bright ring of sunlight visible around the Moon’s silhouette and therefore preventing total darkness.

This eclipse will also only be available to view mostly over the skies of Antarctica. Other than the Antarctic, the only other places that will be able to catch a glimpse of it will be New Zealand, Tasmania and parts of South Africa. The next time there will be a solar eclipse will not be until May of 2012. That one will also be an annular eclipse and will be even darker than the one on Friday. At that time not everyone will be able to view it either. Only those in Japan, China, the Pacific and the western U.S. will be privy to witness it.

Those in the northern hemisphere will also get their chance on the night of Dec. 10th, 2011 to witness a total Lunar eclipse. During this time, the Moon will pass into the Earth’s shadow. As it does it will gradually turn darker in the night sky until it becomes a deep rusty red. Weather permitting of course, this will be a marvelous sight to see also. Although not quite as spectacular as a solar eclipse, the lunar eclipse is completely safe to view with the naked eye, which is not possible with the solar eclipse.

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