March 24, 2019

Astro Event for July 29th-August 4th, 2008: an Arctic Eclipse.

Eclipses rarely happen over civilized areas. It seems as the shadow of the moon is extremely shy, avoiding your local suburbia and instead forcing eclipse chasers to risk life and limb, often courting terminal illness and kidnapping to see this elusive spectacle. The total eclipse of August 1st, 2008 is no exception.

Part of saros 126, it nearly exactly misses the continental United States, as does its sister partial lunar eclipse on the 16th of August. Instead, this eclipse favors the extreme Canadian Arctic, Siberia, and remote China. Areas to the north and south, such as all of Europe, will receive varying stages of partiality. Here in Northern Maine and most of the Canadian Maritimes, we have a shot at a sunrise partial eclipse, weather willing. Slim is better than none! It gives us something on our bucket list to strive for; to one day stand in totality! And don’t forget, if you can’t make it to Siberia next week, you can always watch it online from the same site!

The Astro word of the week is sygyzy. Triple letter score, anyone? This is one of those borderline astronomical/astrological terms you don’t hear very much anymore; it simply means an alignment of the sun/moon/and earth such as during and eclipse. Apparently, this distinguishes the event from a run of the mill conjunction. A very cool vocabulary builder!

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