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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.

08/22/2017 – Ephemeris – Future Eclipses visible around northern Michigan

August 22, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, August 22nd. The Sun rises at 6:53. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 42 minutes, setting at 8:36. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 9:17 this evening. | OK, now that some of you have eclipse fever and want to see more, let’s see when the next solar eclipses will occur near us. Four years from now on June 10, 2021 the Sun will rise already in eclipse for us here. This annular eclipse will best be seen in western Ontario Provence, just north of Minnesota. The Moon will be too small to completely cover the Sun. After that is another Great American Eclipse, where the path of totality runs from Texas to Maine, clipping a few miles into the southeast corner of Michigan. That will be April 8, 2024. Around here nearly 87% of the Sun will be covered at maximum. If you want to travel, there are two total eclipses in Chile and Argentina on July 2nd, 2019 near sunset and December 14th, 2020 at midday.

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

Addendum

June 10, 2021 Annular Eclipse track.

June 10, 2021 Annular Solar Eclipse track. Credit NASA/GSFC – Fred Espanek

April 8, 2014 Total Solar Eclipse track.

April 8, 2014 Total Solar Eclipse track. Credit NASA/GSFC – Fred Espanek

08/21/2017 – Ephemeris – Today’s the day of the solar eclipse!

August 21, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Monday, August 21st. The Sun rises at 6:52. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 8:37. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible, except when it’s covering the Sun.

This is it! Later today, we will see, clouds willing, the Great American Solar Eclipse. The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will host an eclipse watch at the Dachow farm on M-22 at Port Oneida Road. There will be telescopes to view the eclipse and one to project the eclipse on a screen. The first 100 or so visitors can get a pair of eclipse glasses. The times, if you are in the Grand Traverse area, say near Traverse City and Interlochen, are these: The eclipse starts at a couple of minutes before 1 p.m., The maximum eclipse will be at 2:20 when nearly 75% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. The eclipse will end about 3:40 p.m. These times are within a few minutes for other locations in northern Michigan.

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

Addendum

Maximum eclipse in Traverse City

What the maximum eclipse would look like with proper filtering in the Grand Traverse area. Created using Stellarium.

Pinhole projection

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 pin hole is a compromise between sharpness and brightness of the image.
The farther the image is projected the larger it is.
The throw of the image can be increased by using a mirror masked with a quarter of a inch or larger hole and sending the image 10 or more feet away.

Binocular projection

I’m demonstrating using binoculars to project the Sun. Photo by Bea Farrell (granddaughter).

Tree provided pinholes

Let nature provide the pinholes.
Sit under in the shade.
Stay cool,
And watch the Sun’s images on the ground.

The danger at looking at the Sun without proper filter

The danger with looking at the Sun without proper filter. Credit: University of Waterloo.

08/18/2017 – Ephemeris – More eclipse information

August 18, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Friday, August 18th. The Sun rises at 6:48. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 8:42. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 4:16 tomorrow morning.

OK here you are 3 days before the solar eclipse, where to you go and when do you look to see it. Circle next Monday, August 21st. The times, if you are in the Grand Traverse area, say near Traverse City and Interlochen, are these: The eclipse starts at a couple of minutes before 1 p.m., The maximum eclipse will be at 2:20 when nearly 75% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. The eclipse will end about 3:40 p.m. For locations south and west of Traverse City the eclipse will start up to a few minutes earlier, to the north and east, up to a few minutes later. The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will host an eclipse watch at the Dachow farm on M-22 at Port Oneida Road.

We’ll be at Friday night Live night on the 200 block of Front Street, in front of Orvis Streamside,  in Traverse City to demonstrate these methods. Come between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. for demonstrations if it’s clear.

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

Addendum

Maximum eclipse in Traverse City

What the maximum eclipse would look like with proper filtering in the Grand Traverse area. Created using Stellarium.