08 April 2005

Hybrid Solar Eclipse 08APR05

Quote for the day:

Our sun is one of 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Our galaxy is one of billions of galaxies populating the universe. It would be the height of presumption to think that we are the only living things in that enormous immensity.”
(1912 – 1977)

Here it is a gorgeous morning in the Shuswap with a beautiful clear blue sky and perfect conditions for watching the solar eclipse that happens today. Too bad we don’t get to view it here in Canada. With any luck the sky will stay clear and the star watching will be excellent tonight as a consolation prize.

Off to the dentist (tooth broke) this morning – so with time limited, here is a short blurb on the unusual eclipse occurring today and an excellent website tutorial on the subject.

Solar eclipses are caused when Earth, the Moon and the Sun line up just right and the Moon casts it’s shadow on Earth. A Hybrid Eclipse is an eclipse, which is seen as annular by some parts of the Earth, and total by others (and also as a partial eclipse over a much larger area).

1. Friday, 8 April 2005 - hybrid solar eclipse - The track passes from south of New Zealand, northeast across the Pacific, through Central America and into South America.
2. The disks of the Sun and the Moon will appear to exactly coincide, setting up this unusual type of eclipse known as a hybrid.
3. The eclipse starts off as annular, with the Moon covering all but 8/10 of a percent of the Sun’s disk.
4. Ten minutes later 1,400 miles south of Tahiti the eclipse becomes total.
5. The greatest eclipse occurs over the ocean.
6. About 500 miles due north of the Galapagos Islands, the tip of the Moon’s shadow no longer reaches the Earth’s surface, and the Moon no longer completely covers the Sun so it morphs back into an annular eclipse.
7. Before the transition from annular to total and later, just after the transition from total back to annular, the eclipse will become something neither annular nor total: it will be a broken annular
8. As lunar mountains protrude onto the hairline-thin ring of the Sun, it will be seen not as an unbroken ring but an irregular, changing, sparkling sequence of arcs, beads and diamonds very briefly encircling the Moon: a "diamond necklace" effect! This is a spectacle that viewers in the Panama and Costa Rica might see.
9. The path then quickly slides across the base of the isthmus where Central joins to South America, then over the Gulf of Uraba and on into northern Colombia and central Venezuela before finally coming to an end.

Caution: Don't Look at the Sun without correct eye wear! Happy Sky Watching!

Illustration of a Solar Eclipse by SPACE.com Posted by Hello



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