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Archive for the ‘Eclipses’ Category

08/08/2017 – Ephemeris – Eclipse seasons

August 7, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, August 7th. The Sun rises at 6:36. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 8:59. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 9:00 this evening.

At two weeks before the great solar eclipse, the world is experiencing another eclipse, this one is a partial lunar eclipse where the Moon will just clip the northern part of the Earth’s shadow this afternoon our time. It will be mainly visible from Asia. Eclipses occur in seasons of about a month long that occur at a bit less than six month intervals, so eclipses will occur a little earlier next year to the this. That’s because the crossing points of the Moon’s and the Earth’s orbital planes regress slowly westward. In an eclipse season two eclipses will occur: a solar and a lunar eclipse. On rare occasion when a lunar eclipse occurs in the center of a season a partial solar eclipse can occur two weeks before and again after the lunar eclipse, but they will affect the opposite polar regions of the Earth.

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

Addendum

Table of this and next three eclipse seasons

Date Eclipse Type Notes
08/07/2017 Lunar Eclipse – partial Moon clips northern part of Earth’s umbra
08/21/2017 Solar Eclipse – total Path of totality crosses US
01/31/2018 Lunar Eclipse – total Moon crosses just south of center of umbra
02/15/2018 Solar Eclipse – partial  Visible mostly from Antarctica
07/13/2018 Solar Eclipse – partial Seen from southern Australia
07/27/2018 Lunar Eclipse – total Moon crosses center of umbra
08/11/2018 Solar Eclipse – partial Seen from northern Europe, Asia
01/06/2019 Solar Eclipse – partial Seen mostly from northern Pacific Ocean
01/21/2019 Lunar Eclipse – total Moon crosses just north of center of umbra

05/05/2017 – Ephemeris – A preview of the upcoming total solar eclipse and two star parties this weekend

May 5, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, May 5th.  The Sun rises at 6:26.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 8:52.  The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 4:44 tomorrow morning.

On August 21st this year there will be a total solar eclipse visible from a narrow band that crosses the continental United States from Oregon to South Carolina.  It will be a fantastic sight.  From around here the eclipse will be a deep partial eclipse with the moon covering 75% of the Sun’s disk.  This evening yours truly will show how to view the eclipse safely at the 8 p.m. meeting of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society at the Northwestern Michigan College’s Observatory.

At 9 p.m. there will be a star party.  Tomorrow night there will be, weather permitting a 9 p.m. star party that will be held at the Interlochen Center for the Arts at the soccer field, on the Duck Lake side of the Campus.  Parking is off Lyon Street.

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

03/27/2017 – Ephemeris – 5 more new moons before the Great American Total Solar Eclipse!

March 27, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, March 27th.  The Sun will rise at 7:32.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 8:04.  The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

The Moon will be officially new at 10:57 this evening.  Later this year there will occur at total solar eclipse visible from a narrow path the crosses the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.  It will cross the cities of Casper Wyoming, Kansas City, just south of St Louis, Carbondale, Illinois; Nashville, Columbia and Charleston South Carolina.  Carbondale is about the closest spot to us at about 600 miles.  We will see about 75-80 percent of the Sun blocked by the Moon here in northern Michigan.  The is generally a solar eclipse about every six new moons, the exception is an occasional solar eclipse on two consecutive new moons, except they will occur in opposite polar regions and are rarely total.  The Moon’s orbit is tilted by 5° to the Sun’s path.  This time the Moon is way south of the Sun.

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

Addendum

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.

The points are GE greatest eclipse, path width 71.27 miles (114.7 km); and GD greatest duration of totality, 2 minutes and 40.2 seconds.

Eclipse shadow animation

An animation of the Moon’s shadow as it will cross the Earth’s surface August 21, 2017. Credit A.T. Sinclair/NASA

NASA’s Eclipse page:  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

Solar Corona

The solar corona displayed during the July 10, 1072 total solar eclipse from Prince Edward Island. Credit Bob Moler.

Diamond Ring

Diamond ring at the end of totality of the total solar eclipse July 10, 1972. Credit Bob Moler.

Baily's Beads

Baily’s Beads – sunlight streaming through the valleys at the edge of the Moon at the end of totality, March 7, 1970, outside Bladenboro NC. Credit Bob Moler.

On May 5th, I’ll be giving a talk about the upcoming total solar eclipse.  How to enjoy its partial phases here and along the path of totality.

 

02/27/2017 – Ephemeris – The Great American Eclipse, August 21, 2017

February 27, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, February 27th.  The Sun will rise at 7:22.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 5 minutes, setting at 6:28.  The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 7:52 this evening.

We didn’t get a chance to see yesterday’s annular eclipse of the Sun, since it occurred mostly in the South Atlantic Ocean.  But it’s a wake up call for those of us who chase the Moon’s shadow, that the Great American Eclipse is a bit less than 6 months away.  August 21st to be exact.  Here in northern Michigan the Sun will be 75% or so covered by the Moon at peak.  For me it’s 100% or nothing.  The path where the Sun will be totally eclipsed will run from Oregon to South Carolina.  I’ve seen totality four times from 1963 to 1979 and accumulated 8 ½ minutes of time basking under the shade of the Moon.  Well not basking, for those were hectic magical times, not to be missed.  And come hell or high water I will strive to add another 2 plus minutes to that total.

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

Addendum

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.

NASA’s Eclipse page:  https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

 

10/07/2016 – Ephemeris – Busy astronomical weekend in Traverse City

October 7, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 7th.  The Sun will rise at 7:48.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 7:11.  The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 11:30 this evening.

This is another busy weekend for the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society.  Tonight there will be a general meeting of the society at 8 p.m. followed by a star party at 9 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory, located on Birmley Road south of Traverse City, to which all are welcome.  The featured speaker for the meeting will be Randy Leach presenting Astrophotography for the Average Guy.  Photographing the sky without spending big bucks.  Tomorrow evening members of the society will be on the north side of the 200  block of East Front street in Traverse City with their telescopes for the International Observe the Moon Night.  We’ll start at 7 p.m. if it’s clear.

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

Addendum

Substitute speaker:  Yours truly:  Personal recollections of 4 total solar eclipses and a look ahead at next year’s eclipse.

03/08/2016 – Ephemeris – View tonight’s total solar eclipse on the Internet

March 8, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, March 8th.  The Sun will rise at 7:07.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 6:40.  The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

Today’s new moon has a bonus, it will produce a total solar eclipse.  Not for us, but for Indonesia, some islands of Micronesia, and across the Pacific Ocean.  We do have a shot at seeing it, however.  NASA and the The Exploratorium has sent an expedition to the Woleai Atoll near the point of the greatest eclipse, allowing over 4 minutes of totality.  So if it’s clear there NASA and the Exploratorium will have Web and TV feeds.  There will be two feeds, An educational feed running from 8 to 9 p.m. covering the heart of the eclipse and a telescope only feed covering the entire eclipse running from 7 to 10:15 p.m.  For NASA TV go to NASA.gov and click on NASA TV.  The other place to go is exploratorium.edu and you can’t miss it.

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

Addendum

March 9, 2016 total solar eclipse

Eclipse chart for the March 9, 2016 total solar eclipse. Credit NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.

These are my photographs from prior eclipses that will give one feel as to what an eclipse looks like.  The corona will be visible the whole time of totality.  The diamond ring and Baily’s Beads will be visible for only a few seconds at the end of totality.  They are generally not seen as totality starts because filters will stay on the equipment until totality actually starts.

Solar Corona

The solar corona displayed during the July 10, 1072 total solar eclipse from Prince Edward Island. Credit Bob Moler.

Diamond Ring

Diamond ring at the end of totality of the total solar eclipse July 10, 1972. Credit Bob Moler.

Baily's Beads

Baily’s Beads at the end of totality of the March 7, 1970 total solar eclipse from Bladenboro, NC. Credit: Bob Moler.

09/22/2015 – Ephemeris – Equinox tomorrow and September 27th Moon’s triple whammy

September 22, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, September 22nd.  The Sun will rise at 7:29.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 11 minutes, setting at 7:40.   The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:02 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow at 4:20 a.m. before most of us wake up summer will officially end and Autumn will start.  That’s the exact time of the autumnal equinox.  We are noticing that the days or rather daylight hours are getting noticeably shorter day by day.  Autumn will end when the days will stop getting shorter on the first day of winter, December 21st.  The full moon this Sunday is triply important.  Most important is that a total lunar eclipse will happen.  Second, it is the Harvest Moon, the nearest full moon to the autumnal equinox, more on that next week.  Also it is the closest the Moon gets to the Earth all year.  Yup it’s a so-called supermoon.  If the Moon were a 2 inch ball it would be 20 feet from an 8 inch Earth.  The supermoon is a foot closer.

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

Addendum

That last bit about the Moon being a two-inch ball will come in handy if you come to the Girl Scout Badge Bash at ECCO in Traverse City Thursday night.