August 23, 2017

Astronomy Video of the Week: Watch the April 4th Total Lunar Eclipse Live!

Totality as witnessed during the 2003 total lunar eclipse.

(Photo by author)

Ready for the next big eclipse? The big ticket celestial event for April is coming right up, with the first of two total lunar eclipses for 2015 occurring on the morning of Saturday, April 4th. This eclipse features the shortest lunar totality for the 21st century at just four minutes and 43 seconds in duration, and the eclipse will be visible from around the Pacific region, including most of North America. [Read more...]

Astro-Vid Of the Week: Documenting the November Hybrid Solar Eclipse

Totality as seen from Libya during the 2006 Total Solar Eclipse.

(Credit: NASA TV).

An interesting Indiegogo project came to our attention just last week.

ISSET, the International Space School Educational Trust, is working to document and create a live interactive web broadcast of the only solar eclipse to include totality for 2013.

They will be chasing after the hybrid eclipse which crosses the Atlantic Ocean and central Africa on November 3rd of this year. Maximum totality for this eclipse off of the west coast of Africa is a scant 1 minute and 40 seconds. The team is headed to the Kenyan village of Kalokol on the shores of Lake Turkana, where totality will be even more fleeting, at 15 seconds in duration.

The two hour feed will feature live interaction with an online audience worldwide by astronaut and veteran Space Shuttle commander Ken Ham, astronaut trainer Michelle ham, and astronomer Dr. Rhodri Evans.

ISSET has a solid 15 year track record of promoting international STEM education. The team has a targeted goal of $75,000 USD to make the documentary and the online event happen. Broadcasting from such an austere locale, they may be the only webcast in town for this event!

Perks range from a tweeted “thank you” at the 5$ level (they’re @IntSpaceSchool on Twitter) up to an opportunity to join the team in Kenya at the $12,000 mark. We’ll be driving over to the Florida Space Coast side if skies are clear on the morning of the 3rd, for a brief <3% rising partial eclipse.

This is a fascinating project, and for a noble cause.  We’re now within 4 years of the “Big One,” the total solar eclipse crossing the United States on August 21st, 2017. And we’ve only got three totals before then… why not join the ISSET team online or in person this coming November?

Watch Today’s Annular Eclipse Live From Australia!

Ready for the first solar eclipse of 2013? As we head toward the start of today’s annular solar eclipse, we thought we’d do something special and offer you an embedded player to watch the eclipse live from Australia. There’s no word on whether the broadcast embedded below will be live from the path of annularity or if the event will be a deep partial from the location presented, but hey, its worth checking out! For a complete discussion of today’s annular eclipse, see our write up on Universe Today.

[Read more...]

Astro-Events: A Close Conjunction and a Penumbral Eclipse.

Looking east Nov 27 two hours before sunrise.

(Created by the author in Starry Night).

This week sees the second eclipse of the November eclipse season and the spectacular return of the ringed planet to dawn skies.

First up is the penumbral eclipse of the Moon on November 28th. A Penumbral eclipse occurs when the Full Moon misses the dark inner umbra and instead passes through the indistinct, bright outer penumbra of the Earth’s shadow. You may not even notice the subtle shading of the Moon unless you’re looking for it. [Read more...]

AstroEvent: A Pacific-Spanning Annular Eclipse!

(Credit: NASA/A.T. Sinclair).

Live on the west coast of the United States? This weekend, you will get to witness a rare astronomical spectacle, the likes of which the continental U.S. has not seen since 1994.  On May 20th (21st across the International Date Line) an annular solar eclipse graces our fair planet. This eclipse is “annular” in the aspect that the Moon will be only 31 hours from an apogee of 406,450 kilometers around the time it passes between the Earth and the Sun, and thus will appear too small to cover the disk of our nearest star, as it normally does during a total solar eclipse. [Read more...]