Posts Tagged ‘Sun’

The Eclipse that Stopped the Sun

22 July, 2009

The weather was gloomy, but as the eclipse progressed, the darkening sky was definitely NOT due to the weather. Unmistakably, the world was getting darker and darker.

As gaps appeared in the clouds and we caught glimpses of the Sun, the excitement and anticipation grew.

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Even in less than the best weather conditions, the longest eclipse of the 21st century was an awesome sight. An experience one should not miss.



Sunrise eclipse on 22 July 2009

21 July, 2009

We’re almost there. It’s less than 15 hours to the longest eclipse of the century!

Earlier this year in January, an annular eclipse took place that was visible from parts of Africa, Australia and Asia. The image below was taken as the sun set over Manila Bay in the Philippines.

Wednesday’s eclipse will take place as the sun rises over India and travel through central China as morning rush hour hits its peak. Will you capture a photograph as amazing as this one by Armando Lee and F. Naelga Jr.?

We wish you luck and hope and pray that the cloudy skies will clear for the eclipse.

Photo: Armando Lee (Astro League Philippines), F Naelga Jr (100 Hours or Astronomy, IYA2009)

Then Eclipse vs Now Eclipse

20 July, 2009

Here’s a picture of the total solar eclipse of 1900 taken from USA.

1900 Eclipse, Photo: Thomas Smillie

To capture this image, scientists loaded several railroad cars with scientific equipment and travelled from Washington D.C. to Wadesboro in North Carolina, where they had calculated would be the best location in North America for viewing this total solar eclipse.

Called the Smithsonian Solar Eclipse Expedition, they hoped to record photographic proof of the solar corona for further study.

The team included Smithsonian photographer Thomas Smillie, who headed up the missions photographic component. Smillie rigged cameras to seven telescopes and successfully made eight glass-plate negatives, ranging in size from eleven by fourteen inches to thirty by thirty inches. At the time, Smillies work was considered an amazing photographic and scientific achievement.

Today, besides powerful radars on ground, we have satellites orbiting in space specially to study the Sun, such as SOHO (SOlar and Heliospehric Observatory) and STEREO (Solar TErrestrial Relations Observatory), just to name a couple.

As for capturing eclipses, besides the sophisticated equipment of professional astrophotographers, solar eclipse buffs and media crew, we have digital cameras and handicams.

Thousands and thousands of them will surely be pointed to the sky come Wednesday morning.

"Oooh" Photo: Carlos Fernández

The Eclipse Ring of Fire

19 July, 2009

In eclipse-speak, a Ring of Fire is the view of an annular eclipse of the Sun by the Moon.

(An annular eclipse occurs instead of a total eclipse when the Moon is on the far part of its elliptical orbit around the Earth. It results in the apparent size of the Moon being visibly smaller than the apparent size of the Sun.)

The name is kinda self-explanatory, but its effect is incredibly beautiful: at the peak of the eclipse, the dark Moon will appear to be surrounded by the bright Sun, creating a brilliant, burning “ring”.

This picture of a magnificent “ring of fire” was photographed in January 1992 by Dennis L Mammana and appeared on Astronomy Picture of the Day in January 2009.

Photo: Dennis L Mammana

Wednesday’s eclipse will be a total eclipse. The next annular eclipse will take place in January 2012.

Love at first eclipse

18 July, 2009

What happens when the Sun meets the Moon? “Eclipse” you say?

Watch and find out…

Through the clouds

16 July, 2009

Those catching the eclipse of October 3, 2005 lucked out. The skies were cloudy over Spain, but they still managed to catch this shot of an annular eclipse. In fact, the clouds added a bit of textures to create this amazing shot.

That said… please, please, please, please let the skies be clear on 22 July 2009.

Solar Eclipse 3 Oct 2005 (Photo: Chosovi)

Blue skies, waiting for me…

15 July, 2009

You know how the song goes: “Blue skies, waiting for me. Nothing but blue skies do I see.” And that’s what we hope to be singing up in China next Wednesday morning, 22 July.

To see the spectacular sight of a total solar eclipse, astronomy and solar eclipse buffs plan years in advance. The awesome one set to occur next Wednesday (the longest total eclipse of the 21st century) is no different.

In the past weeks, we’ve met many enthusiasts who purchased their tickets months ago.

Astronomers, from the ones at NASA to academics and students, can crunch the numbers and calculate the science of the Moon and Sun’s movements down to the millisecond.

However, one thing that they can’t be sure of — the weather.

We hope it’s clear blue skies all the way.

Photo: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz

The Sun and Manhattenhenge

14 July, 2009

We saw this in the news recently — Manhattanhenge.

Photo: Shawn Hawk (From FlickrBlog)It’s a biannual occurrence in which the setting Sun aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan’s famous grid.

(The term hails from Stonehenge, at which the Sun aligns with the stones of the famous monument on the Salisbury plains on the solstices, signalling the change of the season.)

This phenomenon applies to the streets that are laid out at a grid offset 28.9 degrees from true east-west (following the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811.)

The term was coined by Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2002. Tyson is an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History (one of the best natural history museums in the world, really, especially if you love dinosaurs).

His article on the matter can be read here.

Manhattanhenge 2009 occurred just — on Sunday, July 12. (Darn, we weren’t in Manhattan to catch it.)

The earlier one was on Saturday, May 30. (There are corresponding sunrise dates as well, if you’re the morning person sort.) As with the solstices and equinoxes, the dates will vary from year to year.

Sweet phenomenon. (Still, we must stop the Sun on 22 July.)

An eclipse in Goa, India

14 July, 2009

If you’re in the northern part of India, even better if you’re in the northeastern part because then it won’t be too early before sunrise, there’s a good chance you can catch the total solar eclipse.

Here’s a shot of silhouettes in Goa to inspire you.

19 Mar 2007 (Photo: Joerg Schoppmeyer)

On Moonday, March 19, (2007) shortly before the equinox, locations in Asia and the Arctic were favoured by the New Moon’s shadow during a partial solar eclipse. Although the view from Goa, India found the eclipsed Sun near the horizon, photographer Joerg Schoppmeyer was still able to capture this lovely image, combining celestial with terrestrial silhouettes. The next eclipse season will begin in late August this year, featuringa total lunar eclipse on August 28, and another partial solar eclipse on September 11. Compared to the March 19th eclipse, the September 11th eclipse will be seen on the other side of our fair planet, from parts of South America and Antarctica. (Source: APOD)

8 more days to the Eclipse of the Century!

Is the eclipse visible from Singapore?

14 July, 2009

Technically, yes. Singapore will experience a partial eclipse, but a really slight one. It’ll be less than 10%, and more around 3.5% to 4%.

Author: HM Nautical Almanac Office

We’re too far south, that’s why.

It’ll be a slight partial solar eclipse. Like this one captured from Brazil by Giuliano Maiolini on 10 September 2007.

Partial Solar Eclipse (Image: Giu Maiolini)

So this means the best place to catch the century’s most dramatic total solar eclipse on the morning of 22 July is… *drumroll* … Right at your desk!

On, of course.