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12/31/2020 – Ephemeris – Looking ahead at the eclipses of 2021

December 31, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31st. The Sun will rise at 8:20. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 5:12. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 6:43 this evening.

I’ve had enough of 2020, and I hope in 2021 that we’ll break the grip of this pandemic. Looking up next year we will get glimpses of three of the four eclipses that will occur in 2021. We will get a chance to see the beginning of an eclipse of the Moon at sunrise as it sets on May 26th. Fifteen days later, on June 10th we will be able to see the Sun rise while being partially eclipsed by the Moon. People in western Ontario, up through northern Canada, then across the North Pole and into Siberia will get to see an annular or ring of fire eclipse of the Sun. On November 19th, clouds willing, we will get to see an almost total eclipse of the Moon that morning with over 97 percent of the Moon covered by the Earth’s inner shadow.

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

Addendum

The Sun rises in eclipse - June 10, 2021

What might it look like when the Sun will rise in eclipse for the Grand Traverse region of Michigan at about 6:10 am June 10, 2021. Note that you, or actually your location, is involved in what you can see of a solar eclipse. Created using Stellarium.

Lunar Eclipse maximum 4:04 am 11/19/21

What the lunar eclipse maximum might look like at 4:04 am (9:04 UT), November 19, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

There is a fourth eclipse in 2021, a total solar eclipse that is mainly visible in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica on December 4, 2021.

 

 

11/30/2020 – Ephemeris – We’ve entered an eclipse season

November 30, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Monday, November 30th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:00. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 5:22 this evening.

This morning we had a slight eclipse of the Moon, where the Moon entered only the southern part of the Earth’s penumbral or partial shadow. On December 14th, at the next new moon there will be a total eclipse of the Sun that will be visible from South America. We are now in an eclipse season which lasts about 35 days. In that time two or rarely three eclipses can be fit in. The next eclipse season is 5 months and 18 days away in late May and early June 2021. Then there will be, for Michigan, the start of a lunar eclipse visible just before sunrise on May 26th and the end of a solar eclipse visible at sunrise on June 10th. Those two eclipses will just be teasing us. Our next nearby total solar eclipse is less than three and a half years away on April 8, 2024.

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

Addendum

Explaining eclipse seasons, NASA/JPL

A diagram showing eclipse seasons. Though only solar eclipses are shown, it also includes lunar eclipses. Three months later (actually only a month later) the shadows of each are either too far north or south to fall on the other. Click on the image to enlarge. Credit: NASA/JPL

11/23/2020 – Ephemeris – Our Moon is different

November 23, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Monday, November 23rd. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 5:07, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:52. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 1:55 tomorrow morning.

The Earth’s Moon is different from most other moons. First it is very big when compared to the Earth. The Moon is a bit more than quarter the Earth’s diameter. Only Pluto’s moon Charon is larger compares to its primary, being half the size of Pluto. Most big moons orbit over their planet’s equator. Our Moon orbits the Earth close to the plane of Earth’s orbit of the Sun. That’s why the Moon is seen passing the planets each month. The Moon is too big to have been captured by the Earth in a chance flyby. The moon rocks brought back during Apollo showed that the Moon was made of the same crustal material as the Earth, so the impact theory was put forth that the Moon was the result of a collision of the Earth and a Mars sized body soon after they were formed.

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

Addendum

The Moon's orbit vs the ecliptic

The Moon’s orbit (red) vs the ecliptic or plane of the Earth’s orbit (orange). The Moon’s orbit is tilted to the Earth’s orbit by 5 degrees. This is for 4:30 pm or a little more than a half hour before sunset. The black sky is due to removing atmospheric scattering in the program. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

In the image note that the Moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic just east of the Sun’s position. That crossing point is called the Moon’s descending node, since the Moon’s eastward motion will take it from north of the ecliptic to south of it. When the Sun is close to a node eclipses can occur. The ascending node is at the opposite side of the ecliptic so both solar and lunar eclipses occur in an eclipse season that lasts about a month.

An indeed there will be a penumbral eclipse of the Moon on the 30th, and a total solar eclipse for Chile and Argentina December 14th. The nodes don’t stay in one place, but they move westward, making one rotation around the ecliptic in 18.61 years. Since the nodes are moving westward it is called the regression of the nodes. So eclipse seasons occur about every 5 2/3 months, moving backwards in the calendar.

06/19/2020 – Ephemeris – Summer arrives tomorrow with an eclipse of the Sun the next day

June 19, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, June 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 9:31, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:25 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow afternoon at 5:43 pm summer will begin, as the Sun reaches its greatest northerly excursion, right over the tropic of Cancer, 23 ½ degrees north latitude on the Earth’s surface. It’s called the summer solstice for those of us north of the equator. Early Sunday morning there will be an annular eclipse of the Sun. We won’t see it in the United States, however it will be visible for parts of Africa and southern Asia. The Moon will be too far away to completely cover the face of the Sun leaving a ring or annulus at maximum eclipse, a so-called Ring of Fire. It is the second of a triad of eclipses this eclipse season. Two weeks ago there was a slight eclipse of the Moon and two weeks from now another slight eclipse of the Moon to finish the season.

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

Addenda

Annular Eclipse

Eclipse Map for june 21, 2020

Areas of the Earth where the solar eclipse of June 21, 2020 will be visible. The central double red line delineates the path of annularity. Click on the image to see the original chart. Credit NASA GSFC, Fred Espenak.

Annular eclipse May 10 1994

My photograph of the Annular eclipse May 10 1994 taken east of Toledo, Ohio, May 10, 1994.

Summer Solstice

Earth and local area near summer solstice

Earth and magnified local area near summer solstice. Image taken near local noon June 17, 2020. Credit NOAA DSCOVR satellite orbiting the Sun-Earth L1 point 994,970 miles (1,601,432 kilometers) sunward from the Earth. For once it’s clear enough to see the mitten of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

The Sun's path on the summer solstice

The Sun’s path through the sky on the summer solstice day from Traverse City, MI. Created using my LookingUp program..

06/05/2020 – Ephemeris – A penumbral eclipse of the Moon for the eastern hemisphere of Earth today

June 5, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, June 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 9:24, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 9:32 this evening.

There will be a penumbral eclipse of the Moon this afternoon. We won’t get to see it because the Moon won’t be up yet. The eclipse, such as it is, will be only visible from the eastern hemisphere of the Earth like Asia. Even then there won’t be much to see. In a penumbral eclipse the Moon only enters the Earth’s outer shadow, called the penumbra where sunlight is only partially cut off. Observers on the affected parts of the Moon would see the Sun only partially eclipsed. And anyone whose seen a partial solar eclipse will tell you that it doesn’t get that dark. So most penumbral eclipses go unnoticed unless one is told about them. This one less than 60% of the Moon will be immersed in the Earth’s penumbral shadow.

There will be two more penumbral lunar eclipses this year, both visible from the United States: July 5th when only 35% of the Moon’s diameter is immersed in the penumbra, and November 30th when 83% is immersed.

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

Addendum

Lunar eclipse chart

Lunar eclipse chart for the penumbral lunar eclipse of July 5th, 2020. Unfortunately for Michigan it will occur between 1:45 and 5:04 pm before the Moon rises tonight. Click on the image to see the original pdf page from NASA. Credit NASA GSFC/Fred Espenak.

Eclipse visibility map

Eclipse visibility map. Areas on the Earth where the eclipse is visible. Credit NASA GSFC/Fred Espenak.

01/10/2020 – Ephemeris – Eclipses today and to come

January 10, 2020 1 comment

I usually create these posts on the evening before the Ephemeris program airs on Interlochen Public Radio, though I record and post the audio programs the prior Sunday evening.  Wednesday we learned that my 102 year old mother-in-law Edith DelRaso was back in the hospital wit pneumonia after being released from the hospital for the same complaint This time it was worse.  My daughter, younger granddaughter and I headed south to Grand Rapids.  This lady had outlived all her many siblings, her husband and all but one of his siblings, and two of her three children, including my wife Judy.  She was ready to go.  At about 5:15 p.m. she breathed her last peacefully.  After a couple of hours with the gathered family we headed out to a favorite restaurant.  The weather in the Grand Traverse Area was worsening, so I got talked into staying in GR with my brother and his wife, and to head back today, so I missed posting this last night.  As a sad coincidence my niece’s father-in-law had a massive heart attack and eventually died at about the same time in Detroit. A sad day all around.

On with the show.

Ephemeris for Friday, January 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 5:21, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:18. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 5:20 this evening.

Later on this afternoon there will be a lunar eclipse, one of 4 this year. All of these are penumbral eclipses where the Moon misses the dark inner shadow of the Earth and skims through the outer partial shadow, where the Sun’s light is only partially obscured by the Earth, showing a slight dusky appearance on the side nearest the dark shadow. Being daytime the Moon will not have rises for use to see it. We will be able to witness the last two. The first of these is early in the morning hours of July 5th and be barely visible, the second will be in the morning hours of November 30th. There will be two solar eclipses, neither of which will be visible here. However, next year there will be a solar eclipse where the Sun will rise partially eclipsed here and we’ll see the last half hour of it.

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

Addendum

Our best penumbral lunar eclipse this year.

Our best penumbral lunar eclipse this year, November 30, 2020. Subtract 5 hours from the UTC contact times to get Eastern Standard Time. Excerpted from a NASA/GSFC graphic by Fred Espenak.

The Sun rises in Eclipse 6/10/21

The Sun will rise in eclipse at 6:05 a.m. June 10, 2021 in the Grand Traverse Area. The last37 minutes of the eclipse will be visible from around here. Created using Stellarium.

Eclipse map for the June 10, 2021 Annular Eclipse

Eclipse map for the June 10, 2021 Annular Eclipse. Click on the image to see the original PDF. Credit NASA/GSFC Fred Espenak.

12/26/2019 – Ephemeris – The last eclipse of the decade occurred this morning in Asia

December 26, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, December 26th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:07, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:19. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible. |

Today’s new moon has already produced the last solar eclipse of the 2010s overnight, visible mostly in Asia. The first eclipse of the new decade, the 2020s, will be January 10th, a very slight lunar eclipse called a penumbral eclipse where the Moon appears slightly shaded, but will appear whole. That said, it occurs during our day time, so we won’t see it. We will have two more penumbral lunar eclipses visible from our area next year. In all there are 8 total or partial lunar eclipses visible from our area next decade. The first is a total eclipse May 26, 2021. There will be 6 solar eclipses visible from here next decade including the Total eclipse visible from the Mexican to Canadian borders on April 8, 2024. It will be a deep partial eclipse here.

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

Addendum

Solar Eclipses visible from the GT Region in the 2020s
June 10 2021 Annular rises in ending partial eclipse here
October 14, 2023 Annular Oregon to Texas in US, 45% here
April 8, 2024 Total Texas to Maine in US, 85% here
August 12, 2026, Total, 15% here
Jan 26, 2028 Annular, 5% here
January 14, 2029 Partial, 65% here
Lunar Eclipses visible from the GT Region in the 2020s
November 30, 2020 83% Penumbral 2:32 a.m. to 6:53 a.m.
May 26, 2121 Total Moon sets totally eclipsed
May 16, 2022 Total completely visible from here
March 24, 2024 96% Penumbral completely visible from here
September 18, 2024 8% Partial completely visible from here
March 14, 2025 Total completely visible from here
August 28, 2026 93% Partial completely visible from here
February 20, 2027 92% Penumbral in progress at moonset
August 17, 2027 54% Penumbral completely visible from here
January 12, 2028 7% Partial completely visible from here
June 26, 2029 Very central total eclipse. Partial starts a bit after moonrise Totality lasts 1 hour 42 minutes
December 20, 2029 Total eclipse Moon rises during beginning partial phase here
Penumbral eclipse 11/30/2020

NASA chart of the November 30, 2020 penumbral lunar eclipse in the wee morning hours. The Earth’s penumbra is the fuzzy partial shadow of the Earth where the Sun’s light is only partially blocked. A duskiness appears on the Moon’s side closest to the umbra. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espanek.

07/12/2018 – Ephemeris – A partial solar eclipse today will be visible from south Australia

July 12, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, July 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 18 minutes, setting at 9:27, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:09. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

There’s a minor partial solar eclipse late tonight our time

for extreme southern Australia and Tasmania. This will be followed in two weeks with a total lunar eclipse for mostly Africa and Asia. Two weeks and a day after that their will be a partial solar eclipse from northeastern Canada to Asia. When is the next solar eclipse visible here in northern Michigan? That would be June 10, 2021. The Sun will rise with the eclipse more than half over with the Moon taking a big bite out of the left side of the Sun. It will be all over by 6:40 a.m. However, for Canada north of Minnesota, the Sun will rise as a ring of fire because the Moon won’t be big enough to block the entire disk of the Sun. But on April 8, 2024 the Sun will be totally eclipsed in the US from Texas to Maine.

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

Addendum

Maps for the solar eclipses discussed captured from the calendar function of Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts):

Partial Solar Eclipse Map 2018-07-13

Partial Solar Eclipse Map for July 13, 2018. Mid eclipse 11 p.m. EDT July 12. Click on image for the actual NASA full size image. Eclipse predictions by Fred Espenak NASA/GSFC.

Partial Solar Eclipse Map 2018-08-11

Partial Solar Eclipse Map for August 11, 2018. Click on image for the actual NASA full size image. Eclipse predictions by Fred Espenak NASA/GSFC.

Annular Solar Eclipse Map 2021-6-10

Annular Solar Eclipse Map for June 10, 2021. Click on image for the actual NASA full size image. Eclipse predictions by Fred Espenak NASA/GSFC.

Total Solar Eclipse Map 2024-04-08

Total Solar Eclipse Map for April 8, 2014. Click on image for the actual NASA full size image. Eclipse predictions by Fred Espenak NASA/GSFC.

Here’s a link to NASA’s table of the solar eclipses of the 2020s which has links to global and interactive Google maps for each eclipse:  https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2021.html.

02/15/2018 – Ephemeris – There are three solar eclipses this year, today is the first

February 15, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, February 15th. The Sun will rise at 7:43. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 6:11. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible. There will be a solar eclipse today that will be a partial blocking of the Sun for parts of Antarctica and southern South America. This is the first solar eclipse to occur since the Great American Eclipse last August. There are three solar eclipses this year and they are all partials with the core of the Moon’s shadow just missing the Earth to the north or south. This year there is another total lunar eclipse, but we will be facing the Sun in daytime when it happens and won’t be able to see it. That lunar eclipse will be visible in Europe and Asia July 27th. One of the other partial solar eclipses will occur 2 weeks before and the other two weeks after that lunar eclipse. That happens when the Moon passes very near the center of the Earth’s shadow.

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

Addendum

Circumstanced for eclipses.

There are two eclipse seasons a year at an average interval of 5.7 months. Usually there is a solar and a lunar eclipse at each season, unless there is a central lunar eclipse, when it can be bracketed by a partial solar eclipse about two weeks before and again after. Public domain with annotations by the author.

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