Thursday, October 23, 2014

Partial Solar Eclipse - 23 Oct 2014

Today there was a partial solar eclipse, which was visible throughout most of North America.

It occurred during the work day, so we brought our field scope and solar filter to the office, and set it up out behind the shop.

We had nice clear skies, and about 12 of our work neighbors joined us to (safely) view the event.

During a solar eclipse the moon passes between the earth and the sun. It may block part, most or all of the sun's disk.

For this partial solar eclipse, about 30% of the sun was covered by the moon at maximum.

Here near Palm Springs, CA the moon took the first bite out of the sun around 2:15pm, max coverage was about  3:30pm, and sun returned to normal by 4:40pm.

The solar filter on the scope gave us excellent views. Numerous sunspots were visible on the sun's surface, including a huge grouping near the lower central equatorial region (not visible in these images).

At 25 power the moon's black edge looked slightly uneven, due to geological features on the lunar surface such as mountains, valleys and crater rims.

Want to know when the next solar eclipse will be visible from your area?
Use this nifty web tool on the NASA web site.
It lists locations world-wide and covers years from 1500 BC to 3000 AD.
Just in case you need to know...

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