Home > Ephemeris Program, Lunar Eclipse, Solar Eclipse, Time > 12/30/2016 – Ephemeris – Looking ahead at the eclipses of 2017

12/30/2016 – Ephemeris – Looking ahead at the eclipses of 2017

December 30, 2016

Ephemeris for Friday, December 30th.  The Sun will rise at 8:19.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 5:11.  The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 6:53 this evening.

Looking ahead at astronomical events of the 2017.  There is one big one that all of us astronomers, both amateur and professional are looking forward to.  That is the total eclipse of the Sun on August 21st, where the center of the Moon’s shadow will sweep across the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina.  The closest this path of totality will get to our area is around Carbondale, Illinois.  For the Grand Traverse area the Sun will be some 75% covered by the Moon.  As kind of a warm up event, we’ll have a slight eclipse of the Moon February 10th, where the Moon will enter the Earth’s outer partial shadow, nearly grazing the Earth’s inner shadow in the early evening.  It’s called a penumbral lunar eclipse.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.



February 10, 2017 Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon

This is the maximum of the February 10th penumbral lunar eclipse. The Moon will appear to move diagonally down to the left. It is shown at maximum eclipse at 7:45 p.m. (0:45 UT February 11). Created using Cartes du Ciel.

Shadows are, of course, invisible unless they are cast on an object, so the Moon would appear alone, though the upper left part of it would be noticeably dimmer than the opposite side.

August 21, 2017 Total Solar Eclipse Path of Totality

A screen cap of the map showing the path of totality of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse from NASA’s eclipse page. Credit: NASA and Google Maps.  Click on image to enlarge.

Click here to go to the page where this interactive map is located.  The magenta marker with GD is the point with the greatest duration of totality of 2 minutes 40.2 seconds.  The green marker with GE denotes where the Moon’s umbral shadow is the widest.  Clicking on any point on the map will pop a balloon shows all the eclipse information for viewing it from that place.  The partial eclipse can be seen from all fifty states, though in Hawai’i the Sun rises with the eclipse in progress.

Here in the Grand Traverse Region, the Moon will encroach on about 8/10ths of the Sun’s diameter, covering 75% of the Sun’s face.

Maximum eclipse in Traverse City

What the maximum eclipse would look like with proper filtering at Traverse City, MI. Created using Stellarium.

Eclipse Times for Traverse City

Eclipse Starts 12:58:03 p.m.
Maximum Eclipse 2:20:15 p.m.
Eclipse Ends 3:40:51 p.m.
Magnitude of the eclipse 0.798
Obscuration of the Sun 75.1%

Solar Corona

This is an inkling of what a totally eclipsed Sun looks like. No photograph can do it justice. Ya gotta be there! The solar corona displayed during the July 10, 1972* total solar eclipse from Prince Edward Island. Credit Bob Moler.

* Update:  Thanks for the heads up on the typo: NationalEclipse.com.

Program Note:

I’ve developed a PowerPoint slide presentation highlighting my four total eclipses and a look at future eclipses.  I will be happy to give this presentation to school groups and organizations free of charge except for mileage reimbursement over 50 miles.  Contact me at bob@bjmoler.org.

December 31st – the longest day, really.

December 31st will be 24 hours and 1 second long.  This “leap second” will be added as the 61st second of the minute 6:59 p.m. EST (23:59 UT).  The reason is that the Earth’s rotation is slowing down ever so slightly, compared to the atomic clocks at the Bureau of Time.  There is some discussion of eliminating this leap second.  Most scientists want to use a constant time stream, and don’t give a hang about the rotation of the Earth.  The exact time which is also affected by special and general relativity is used by GPS navigation satellites.  A one second jump in time, at our latitude (45° north) is equivalent of the earth’s rotation of about two tenths of a mile.  I hope everyone’s coordinated on this.

  1. December 30, 2016 at 9:22 am

    “The solar corona displayed during the July 10, 1072 total solar eclipse from Prince Edward Island.”

    Photography in 1072? Wow! 😉 But, seriously, we can’t wait for the 2017 eclipse. It will be the most witnessed eclipse in human history. Get excited everyone!

  2. December 31, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve just started to become interested in outer space and events like this. I just marked this on my calenday. Major eclipse on August 21st. I’m in Northern California, so I imagine that my experience will be somewhat similar to yours.

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