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11/08/2022 – Ephemeris – Solar Eclipses in our future

November 8, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Election Day, Tuesday, November 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 5:22, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:31. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 5:28 this evening.

If you are listening to me early this morning, and it’s clear there is a lunar eclipse in progress. The eclipse will be total before 6:41 am, and partial until the Moon sets at 7:40 am. We will have to wait until March 2025 to see the next total lunar eclipse from our area.

However, we will be able to see two partial solar eclipses in the next year and a half. The first is October 14th, 2023. Nearly half of the Sun will be blocked by the Moon for us. The next one is the big one! April 8th, 2024 is a total eclipse less than a day’s drive away. The path of totality runs from Texas to Maine, just clipping the southeast corner of Michigan. Here in Northern Michigan, nearly 90% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon, so it will get noticeably dark at the peak of the eclipse.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Areas on the Earth where the solar eclipse of October 14, 2023 can be seen via animation

Areas on the Earth where the solar eclipse of October 14, 2023 can be seen via animation. The gray area is where the partial eclipse is visible. The dot is the place where the ring of the annular eclipse can be seen. Credit: NASA, A. T. Sinclair.

Areas on the Earth where the solar eclipse of April 8, 2024 can be seen via animation

Areas on the Earth where the solar eclipse of April 8, 2024 can be seen via animation. The gray area is where the partial eclipse is visible. The dot is the place where the totally eclipsed Sun can be seen. Credit: NASA, A. T. Sinclair.

For more information on solar and lunar eclipses past and present, go here, NASA’s Eclipse Website.

10/25/2022 – Ephemeris – This eclipse season starts with a partial solar eclipse, but not for us

October 25, 2022 Comments off

“But not for us” means not for Michigan in the United States. This is a script, as always, for a local radio program. Which also mentions the midterm election day, two weeks from now, which coincides with the total lunar eclipse that morning. I’ll have an Ephemeris Extra post before the lunar eclipse, which looks into the next few lunar and solar eclipses visible in Michigan and the United States.

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, October 25th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 6:41, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:12. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

The Moon will be visible in a negative way for some folks at this time. There is a partial solar eclipse in progress now for parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. So that thing blocking the northern part of the Sun for them will be the Moon. Being a partial eclipse means that an eclipse season has started, and we should have a lunar eclipse in about two weeks, when the Moon is full. There sure is, and it’s visible from here. In exactly two weeks, there will be. In the early morning hours of November 8th, Election Day, a total eclipse of the Moon. And if you’re standing outside the polling place waiting for the polls to open at 7 am, and it’s clear, and you have a view to the west, the partially eclipsed Moon will still be visible. That will be the ending partial phase of the eclipse.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

October 25 2022 solar eclipse map

Map for the area on the Earth where the partial solar eclipse of October 25, 2022, will be visible. Credit: NASA/GSFC, Fred Espenak.

05/16/2022 – Ephemeris – More eclipses in our future

May 16, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, May 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 9:05, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:12. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 10:13 this evening.

Last night’s eclipse was the only eclipse that was visible in our area this year. However, in the next two years we will have a chance, weather permitting, to see two partial solar eclipses, the second of which will be even better than the partial solar eclipse seen here in August 2017. On October 14, 2023, there will be an annular eclipse. An annular eclipse is where the Moon is too far away to completely cover the face of the Sun. It leaves a ring of bright sun around the Moon. The technical term for a ring like that is annulus. The path of annularity will run from Oregon to Texas. For the Grand Traverse Area of Michigan, the Moon will cover less than half the face of the Sun. On April 8, 2024, the total eclipse path will run from Texas to Maine and just nip the Southeast corner of Michigan covering, for us in the Grand Traverse Area, about 85 percent of the Sun.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Path across US of Ocober 14 2023 annular solar eclipse

The areas where the October 14, 2023 solar eclipse can be seen are bounded by the outer green lines. The path where the annular part of the eclipse is visible is denoted by the triple green lines. Plotted on Google Earth using a file created by Occult4 software from the International Occultation Timing Association.

Path across the US of the April 8 2024 total solar eclipse

The areas across the U.S. where the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse can be seen are bounded by the outer green lines. The path where the total part of the eclipse is visible is denoted by the triple green lines. Plotted on Google Earth using a file created by Occult4 software from the International Occultation Timing Association.

Ephemeris Extra – Sunrise solar eclipse

June 10, 2021 Comments off
The partially eclipsed Sun this morning

The partially eclipsed Sun this morning, taken through a solar filter, so it’s redder than it actually was. Taken shortly after 6 am from Traverse City, MI West Middle School. There were quite a bit of clouds on the horizon. Credit Bob Moler.

Here is an unfiltered view taken a few minutes earlier:

Sunrise solar eclipse

Here is an unfiltered shot of the Sun bisected by a cloud. Credit Bob Moler.

06/09/2021 – Ephemeris – The Sun will be partially eclipsed as it rises tomorrow morning

June 9, 2021 Comments off

I’ll review the planets tomorrow. However, tomorrow morning, if it’s clear down to the northeastern horizon, we will get to observe, safely, the Sun rise while being in eclipse. Here’s today’s program:

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, June 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 30 minutes, setting at 9:27, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, 1 day before new today, will rise with the Sun at 5:57 tomorrow morning.

The Moon rising with the Sun will also be eclipsing the Sun, so the Sun will have a big bite taken out of its left side as it rises tomorrow. We will be witnessing the last 40 some minutes of the eclipse as the Sun rises. The Sun is dangerous to look at. If you have eclipse glasses from the 2017 eclipse, use those. Otherwise, use pinhole projection from one side of a box to the opposite side. The longer the box, the bigger and dimmer the image. If using a corrugated cardboard box, make a big hole at the pinhole end, cover it with a thin piece of cardboard or aluminum foil. Punch several holes of various sizes spaced out on that end to project multiple images of the Sun, so you can choose the best to view. Good luck!

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

Addendum

Two pinhole solar projection methods

 Pinhole projection is the simplest way to project the Sun’s image. A long box can be used to project the image inside. The diameter of the pinhole is a compromise between sharpness and brightness of the image. The farther the image is projected, the larger and dimmer it is. The throw of the image can be increased by using a mirror masked with a quarter of an inch or larger hole and sending the image 10 or more feet away. Credit NASA.

Eclipsed Sun rising

A Stellarium creation of what the eclipsed Sun would appear about 10 minutes after rising as seen from the Traverse City/Interlochen area.

The visibility map for the June 10, 2021 annular solar eclipse

The visibility map for the June 10, 2021 annular solar eclipse. In an annular eclipse, the Moon is too far away and appears too small to cover the face of the Sun. So, at maximum, a ring of bright Sun surrounds the Moon. It’s sometimes called a ring of fire. For locations within the big floppy figure 8, the eclipse either ends near sunrise (bottom lobe) or starts near sunset (top lobe). The double line with the ellipses in it is the path of where the ring is visible, the path of annularity. Locations within the grid on the right will see a partial eclipse. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak, adapted from https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEplot/SEplot2001/SE2021Jun10A.GIF

 

06/08/2021 – Ephemeris – The Sun will be partially eclipsed as it rises Thursday

June 8, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, June 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 9:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:57. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:22 tomorrow morning.

Thursday morning we in Michigan will witness the last moments of a solar eclipse as the Sun rises. The Sun will be partially eclipsed at sunrise north of a line from North Dakota to South Carolina. For those in a path that will run from the north shore of Lake Superior across western Ontario, through parts of Hudson Bay, to clipping the North Pole and into Siberia will see an annular eclipse. That is, the Moon is too far away, and small to cover the face of the Sun, leaving a bright ring or annulus. A ring of fire, some would say. For us, the Sun will rise around 5:57 am with the Moon taking a big chunk out of its left side. That chunk will recede until the Sun will appear whole again around 6:42 am. I’ll discuss how to view this eclipse tomorrow.

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

Addendum

Eclipsed Sun rising

A Stellarium creation of what the eclipsed Sun would appear about 10 minutes after rising as seen from the Traverse City/Interlochen area.

The visibility map for the June 10, 2021 annular solar eclipse

The visibility map for the June 10, 2021 annular solar eclipse. In an annular eclipse, the Moon is too far away and appears too small to cover the face of the Sun. So, at maximum, a ring of bright Sun surrounds the Moon. It’s sometimes called a ring of fire. For locations within the big red floppy figure 8, the eclipse either ends near sunrise (bottom lobe) or starts near sunset (top lobe). The double line with the ellipses in it is the path of where the ring is visible, the path of annularity. Locations within the grid on the right will see a partial eclipse. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak, adapted from https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEplot/SEplot2001/SE2021Jun10A.GIF

05/18/2021 – Ephemeris – Eclipses visible in Northern Michigan this year

May 18, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 9:08, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:10. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 2:57 tomorrow morning.

This year we will see in part or in full three eclipses from our Northern Michigan location. The first will be the start of a total lunar eclipse next week Wednesday, May 26th. It will start just before sunrise, which for a full moon is around moonset. Our next eclipse will be a solar eclipse that starts, for us, before sunrise on June 10th. In fact, most of the eclipse will occur before sunrise for us in Northern Michigan. The farther north and east of us the more of the eclipse you’ll see. I’ll have more information on the lunar in the next week of programs. And the solar eclipse as we approach that date. We have a final lunar eclipse this year. That will occur in the wee morning hours of November 19th, a partial, but almost total eclipse.

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

Addendum

The four eclipses that occur in 2021

We in Northern Michigan we’ll see part of the first two and all of the third.

May 26, 2021 Total Lunar Eclipse
The visibility map for the May 26th total lunar eclipse. Note Michigan’s mitten lies between the U1 and U2, which means that the Moon will set after the partial eclipse starts, but before totality. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak

June 10, 2021 Annular Solar Eclipse

The visibility map for the June 10, 2021 annular solar eclipse. In an annular eclipse the Moon is too far away and appears too small to cover the face of the Sun. So, at maximum a ring of bright Sun surrounds the Moon. It’s sometimes called a ring of fire. For locations within the big floppy figure 8 the eclipse either ends near sunrise or starts near sunset. The double red line with the ellipses in it is the path of where the ring is visible. Locations within the blue grid will see a partial eclipse. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.
November 19, 2021 Partial Lunar Eclipse
The visibility map for the November 19, 2021 partial eclipse. The eclipse is visible in its entirety in the morning of the 19th. This eclipse is almost total. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.
December 4, 2021 Total Solar Eclipse
Visibility map for the December 4, 2021 total solar eclipse. Totality is onlt visible from the Southern Ocean and Antarctica, Credit: NASA/GSFC/Fred Espenak.

12/28/2017 – Ephemeris – Two astronomical highlights in 2017

December 28, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Thursday, December 28th. The Sun will rise at 8:18. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:09. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 3:54 tomorrow morning.

In my book 2017 has been not so nice of a year. However astronomically speaking, there were at least two notable bright spots. The first was the Great American Solar Eclipse, August 21st that was visible coast to coast. Though I didn’t choose the best spot in Fayette Missouri I did witness the eclipse under hazy skies, and did record the Moon’s shadow passing over us. The other actually occurred four days earlier, but wasn’t announced to the public for months later. The detection via gravity waves, gamma rays, X-rays, visible light, infrared, and radio waves of a pair of neutron stars colliding. This is the new field multi-messenger astronomy. A quarter of all professional astronomers were involved with the event.

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

Addendum

Total solar eclipse, August 21, 2017

Solar corona

A composite image of something like 70 exposures of the Sun’s corona taken August 21, 2017 by Scott Anttila, former president of the GTAS.

August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse sky

August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse sky from Fayette MO, with an action camera looking at the eclipse and sky, watching the Moon’s shadow pass over us from behind us on the right to the left, with quick looks right and left. Photography and processing by Bob Moler.

Neutron star merger discovered August 17, 2017

SSS17a aka GW170817 optically

Optical discovery and fading of SSS17a aka GW170817 by Swope & Magellan Telescopes.

Neutron Star Collision GW 170817 timeline

Neutron Star Collision GW170817 timeline. Horizontal axis in seconds (exponential). From the High Energy Stereoscopic System website.

08/29/2017 – Ephemeris – My excellent eclipse adventure

August 29, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 29th. The Sun will rise at 7:01. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 8:23. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 12:56 tomorrow morning.

This is the first program I’ve recorded since viewing the total solar eclipse 8 days ago. My daughter, youngest granddaughter and I ended up at the Howard County Fairgrounds just outside Fayette, Missouri at an event run by the University of Missouri Extension Service. There wasn’t a big crowd there and the travel there was pretty clear, since it was in the early morning. The day started fairly clear, but became cloudy. Telephoto photography was out, but I made a video of the time around totality that was quite fascinating showing the Moon’s shadow going over. The inner corona of the Sun was visible at totality.  The story is on this blog here as an Ephemeris Extra posting for last Thursday, including the videos. Friday I’ll tell where you can learn more.

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

 

Ephemeris Extra: My report of the total solar eclipse August 21, 2017

August 24, 2017 1 comment

In planning for this eclipse may main goal was to keep away from crowds and traffic as much as possible.  I originally wanted to stay in Springfield, IL so I could go west or south.  Earlier in the previous week I talked with the University of Missouri Extension service, and offered my services, so I felt kind of was obligated if the weather was half way decent. They were set up at the Howard County Fairgrounds in Fayette, MO.  It turned out that I couldn’t get a room in Springfield, but could 60 miles north in Bloomington.  One of the enticements to placate my granddaughter about the trip, was to visit some Lincoln sites in Springfield, which we did on Sunday the 20th.  On Saturday and Sunday the 19th & 20th the weather forecast for Fayette looked bad with clouds and rain in the afternoon.  So I made plans and checked routes in the direction of Paducah, KY.

Traffic heading south on I-55

Traffic heading south on I-55 by Springfield. Photo by Stephany Farrell.

I decided, after seeing the traffic heading down to south Illinois on I-55, that if the weather forecast improved for Fayette, MO I’d head there instead. By 11 p.m. the forecast for Fayette improved markedly. It was for partly cloudy skies, and the rain forecast for the afternoon was moved to Tuesday.

We headed out from our Bloomington, IL motel at 3 a.m. The sun came out just before we entered Missouri. The sky was mostly clear with cirrus and some stratus clouds, mostly in the south and west. There was no unusual traffic all the way there.

We were the first to arrive at 8 a.m. About a half hour later we were joined by folks in two cars from Ottumwa, IA. We all stuck pretty much together for the day, away from the building where most of the people, and entertainment was. All in all there were no more than a hundred people there.

Clouds

Beautiful, but not so friendly clouds. Photo by Stephany Farrell.

Definitely unfriendly clouds

Definitely unfriendly clouds. Photo by Stephany Farrell.

As first contact approached it got progressively cloudier. After first contact I went over to the big shed where the entertainment was and some vendors, and gave a short talk on what to expect as totality approached.  We had a $5 hamburger lunch provided by the Howard County Cattlemen’s Association. And bought $10 eclipse T-shirts. For the most part the Sun was visible through the clouds, if hazily. After first contact the skies worsened, eventually losing the Sun at one point, but then the Sun’s image improved, and continually so up to 4th contact. At totality the Sun’s inner corona was visible, but nothing beyond that. So my grand photographic plans were for naught.

However my little action camera recorded the sky for a 45 minutes or so around the time of totality. And with playing it back yesterday, found that it recorded the Moon’s shadow going over very well. From it I’ve created 2 videos, one showing totality in real time, the other a time lapse 2 minute video of 20 minutes centered on totality, in which the shadow of the Moon can be seen passing over us, darkening the translucent clouds from west to east.  See the update below.

I gave my granddaughter, Bernadette (Bea) the job of recording the temperatures as the eclipse progressed.  Here is a chart made from her data:

Bea's temperature chart

Bea’s temperature chart. From data taken by Bernadette Farrell.

The high temperature going in was 94.7 degrees, and the lowest was 78.2 degrees just after totality ended.  It was stinking hot going in.  But around totality there was a cool breeze coming from the southwest.  It was refreshing.

I was going to spend more time soaking up the ambiance of the surreal world of totality this time, instead of staring at the Sun and sky. Well, I got it.

My videos of the eclipse are here:  http://ephemeris.bjmoler.org/EclipseVideos_08-21-17.html.

The eclipse crew

The eclipse crew: Left to Right – Bob, Bea and Stef.

Update: Below is an 11 MB animated GIF file of totality with the action camera mentioned above  Starts at 14:09:59 and loops to 14:12:59.  The eclipsed sun is the donut at the top of the image.  around mid eclipse I pivot tha camera up the eclipse path to the northwest, then pivit down the eclipse path to the southeast, before returning it ti the sunward view.

Eclipse sky at Fayette MO
Eclipse sky at Fayette MO, August 21, 2017. Credit Bob Moler.