Kicking Off Eclipse Season: Our Guide to the September 13th Partial Solar Eclipse

Eclipse season 2 of 2 for 2015 is nigh this weekend, book-ended by a partial solar eclipse on September 13th, and a total lunar eclipse on September 28th.

First, the bad news. This weekend’s partial solar eclipse only touches down across the very southern tip of the African continent, Madagascar, a few remote stations in Antarctica, and a few wind-swept islands in the southern Indian Ocean.  More than likely, the only views afforded humanity by Sunday’s partial solar eclipse will come out of South Africa, where the eclipse will be about 40% partial around 5:30 Universal Time (UT).

Image credit:
An animation of the September 13th eclipse. Image credit: NASA/GSFC/A.T. Sinclair

It’s the curious circumstances surrounding the September 13th eclipse that conspire to hide it from the majority of humanity. First, the Moon reaches its ascending node along the plane of the ecliptic at 4:38 UT on Monday, September 14th, nearly 22 hours after New phase. The umbra, or dark inner core of the shadow of Earth’s Moon ‘misses’ the Earth, passing about 380 kilometres or 230 miles above the South Pole. The outer penumbra of the Moon’s shadow just brushes the planet Earth, assuring a 79% maximum obscuration of the Sun over Antarctica around 6:55 UT.

Second, the Moon also reaches its most distant apogee for 2015 on September 14th at 11:29 UT, 406,465 kilometers from the Earth. This is just over 28 hours after New, assuring that the umbra of the Moon falls 25,000 kilometres short of striking the Earth. The eclipse would be an annular one, even if we were in line to see it.

Image Credit:
The footprint of Sunday’s eclipse. Image Credit: Michael Zeiler/TheGreatAmericanEclipse.com

Observers will see the eclipse begin at sunrise over South Africa and the Kalahari Desert, great for photography and catching the eclipse along with foreground objects. Observers will need to follow solar observing safety protocols during all stages of the eclipse. A high value neutral density filter will bring out the silhouette of foreground objects while preserving the image of the partially eclipsed Sun, but remember that such a filter is for photographic use only.

Image credit:
Maximum obscuration of the Sun, with times and solar elevation for four selected sites. Image credit: Stellarium

P1, or the first contact of the Moon’s penumbra with the Earth occurs on the morning of the 13th over the Angola/South Africa border at 4:41 UT, and the shadow footprint races across the southern Indian Ocean to depart Earth near the Antarctic coast (P4) at 09:06 UT.

New Moon occurs on September 13th at 6:43 UT, marking the start of lunation 1147.

Image credit:
A close-up of the eclipse circumstances for southern Africa. Image credit: Michael Zeiler/TheGreatAmericanEclipse.com

For saros buffs, this eclipse is a part of saros series 125 (member 54 of 73). Saros 125 started on February 4th, 1060 and produced just four total eclipses in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Mark your calendars, as this saros will end with a brief partial eclipse on April 8th, 2358. The final total eclipse for this particular saros crossed over central Europe on July 16th, 1330, when an observation by monks near Prague noted “the Sun was so greatly obscured that of its great body, only a small extremity like a three night old Moon was seen.”

Image credit: Dave Dickinson
A partially eclipsed Sun rising over the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center. Image credit: Dave Dickinson

Missing out on the eclipse? The good folks over at Slooh have got you covered, with a live webcast set to start at 4:30 UT/12:30 AM EDT.

Planning an ad-hoc webcast of your own from the eclipse viewing zone? Let us know!

There are also some chances to nab the eclipse from space via solar observing satellites in low Earth orbit:

The European Space Agency’s Proba-2 will see eclipses on the following passes – 5:01 UT (partial)/6:31 UT (annular) 8:00 UT (partial).

Image credit:
The view from ESA’s Proba-2 spacecraft at 6:31 UT. Image credit: Starry Night Education Software

And JAXA’s Hinode mission will see the same at the following times: 5:56 UT (Partial)/7:46 UT (partial). Unfortunately, there are no good circumstances for an ISS transit this time around, as the ISS never passes far enough south in its orbit.

Looking for more? You can always participate in the exciting pastime of slender moonspotting within 24 hours post or prior to the New Moon worldwide. This feat of extreme visual athletics favors the morning of Saturday, September 12th to sight the slim waning crescent Moon the morning before the eclipse, or the evenings of September 13th and 14th, to spy the waxing crescent Moon on the evenings after.

Image credit:
Predicted locations worldwide for the first sightings of the thin waxing/waning crescent Moon.  Image credit: Dave Dickinson

And this eclipse sets us up for the grand finale: the last total lunar eclipse of the ongoing tetrad on September 28th, visible from North America and Europe. And yes, the Moon will be near perigee to boot… expect Super/Blood Moon wackiness to ensue.

Watch for our complete guide to the upcoming lunar eclipse, with observational tips, factoids, eclipse lunacy and more!

 

Mind-Bending View of a Solar Eclipse from the Stratosphere

What does a solar eclipse look like from a fast-flying Falcon 7X jet at 14,000 meters (48,000 feet)? French journalist Guillaume Cannat described the Sun as looking black and “ruffled.”

Cannat was part of a group accompanying professional and amateur astronomers on board three Dassault Falcon 7X executive jets that flew in the narrow zone where totality of the eclipse could be observed, from southern Greenland to the geographic North Pole. Traveling through the stratosphere provided the unique opportunity to watch the total eclipse without atmospheric turbulence — which improved the view and the ride. And flying at speeds near Mach .9 also “lengthened” the view of the eclipse to over a minute.

Cannat described the view of totality:

“The crown was deployed around the black disc of the New Moon . It looks like a disheveled silver hair and matted by the solar wind. Far to the left, the planet Venus throws diamond chips, but the absorption of the window hides other celestial body that must always shine in the night daylight. Twilight slides around, bathing the distant clouds in a soft orange glow.”

Here’s a composite of several images of the eclipse that Cannat put together:

A montage of photos from the March 20, 2015 solar eclipse, captured at 14,000 meters from a jet. Credit and copyright: Guillaume Cannat.
A montage of photos from the March 20, 2015 solar eclipse, captured at 14,000 meters from a jet. Credit and copyright: Guillaume Cannat.

The flight was organized by French amateur astronomer Xavier Jubier who created the software Solar Eclipse Maestro. The jets were filled with observation equipment:

Cannat also filmed the eclipse in real time with a GoPro Hero 4. “The whole sequence is rendered in real time so you can relive all in live conditions,” Cannat said. “Note, left, the presence of the bright spot of the planet Venus. The visible light rays around the sun before and after the totality phase are reflections on the window; there are also occasional reflections from inside the cabin. I left her to fully convey the mood of the scene. Naturally, I urge you to watch this video in HD 1080p to capture more detail and better see the spectacular growth of the shadow on cloud strata.”

And here’s a video of the adventure from Dassault Falcon:

Read Cannat’s full account (in French) and see more images at two posts at Le Monde here and here. Our thanks to Guillaume Cannat for sharing his images with Universe Today.

Astronomy Cast Ep. 371: The Eddington Eclipse Experiment

At the turn of the 20th Century, Einstein’s theory of relativity stunned the physics world, but the experimental evidence needed to be found. And so, in 1919, another respected astronomer, Arthur Eddington, observed the deflection of stars by the gravity of the Sun during a solar eclipse. Here’s the story of that famous experiment.
Continue reading “Astronomy Cast Ep. 371: The Eddington Eclipse Experiment”

Interesting Facts About The Moon

Shining like a beacon in Earth’s sky is the Moon. We’ve seen so much of it in our lifetimes that it’s easy to take it for granted; even the human landings on the Moon in the 1960s and 1970s were eventually taken for granted by the public.

Fortunately for science, we haven’t stopped looking at the Moon in the decades after Neil Armstrong took his first step. Here are a few things to consider about Earth’s closest big neighbor.

Continue reading “Interesting Facts About The Moon”

Weekly Space Hangout – February 13, 2015 – Paul Gilster and his “Centauri Dreams”

Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain)
Special Guest: Paul Gilster (centauri-dreams.org / @centauri_dreams),author of “Centauri Dreams”
Guests:
Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @MorganRehnberg )
Dave Dickinson (@astroguyz / www.astroguyz.com)
Brian Koberlein (@briankoberlein)

This Week’s Stories:

SpaceX news
A (very!) salty ocean for Enceladus?
Cassini begins a year of moon imaging
The February ‘Black Moon’
The Number of Reachable Asteroids has Doubled
Stars formed earlier than we thought
Dark matter seen in center of Milky Way
Neil Armstrong Had a Man Purse and It Was Full of Awesome Stuff From His Moon Trip
Lunar Surface Flown Apollo 11 Artifacts From the Neil Armstrong Estate on loan to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Washington D.C.
Pad 39B to Gain New Flame Deflector and Trench Upgrade
Japan’s Akatsuki Spacecraft to Make Second Attempt to Enter Orbit of Venus in December, 2015
Dark Matter Could Create Halos of Light Around Galaxies
NASA, Space Station Partners Announce Future Mission Crew Members
Has Galaxy X Been Found?
Total Solar Eclipse on March 20, 2015
Europe’s Experimental Mini-Space Shuttle Launch
NASA Titan Submarine Concept
Cassini Data Indicates Enceladus’ Ocean Similar to Soda Lakes on Earth
Russia Steps Up as UAE Launched New Space Agency
Surprise! Earth’s Core has a Core
SDO Turns 5!
Astronomers Capture Birth of Multiple Star System
DARPA to Begin Testing Satellite-Launching Fighter Jet This Year
Dark Matter Exists in the Inner Parts of Our Galaxy
Titan Flyby (T-109): Mapping Titan’s North Pole in Infrared
The Hunt for Gravitational Waves Could Be Nearing Success
Twinkle Twinkle Little Exoplanet [hunter]
Future Space Station Crew Dons Jedi Robes for Star Wars-Inspired Poster

We record the Weekly Space Hangout every Friday at 12:00 pm Pacific / 3:00 pm Eastern. You can watch us live on Google+, Universe Today, or the Universe Today YouTube page.

You can join in the discussion between episodes over at our Weekly Space Hangout Crew group in G+, and suggest your ideas for stories we can discuss each week!

Weekly Space Hangout – Nov. 21, 2014: New Images of Europa

Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain)

Guests:
Morgan Rehnberg (cosmicchatter.org / @cosmic_chatter)
Brian Koberlein (@briankoberlein)
Ramin Skibba (@raminskibba)
Dave Dickinson (@astroguyz / www.astroguyz.com)

Continue reading “Weekly Space Hangout – Nov. 21, 2014: New Images of Europa”

Beautiful Images of the October 23, 2014, Partial Solar Eclipse

“The Sun looks like it has a bite taken out of it!” said one enthusiastic viewer of the partial solar eclipse on October 23. Although I only had my paper plate pinhole projector that I shared with a crowd of folks (you can see an image of it near the bottom of the images here), the funny-looking Sun projected onto the plate definitely looked like a cookie with bite out of it or a clipped fingernail. But thankfully, as the Moon moved in front of the Sun today, legions of astrophotographers were out to take fantastic images of the eclipse. And the gigantic sunspot named AR 2192 made a cameo appearance as well. Enjoy the gallery below!

Thanks to everyone who uploaded images to our Flickr page or shared their images on Twitter.

An artistic view of the Partial Solar Eclipse, October 23, 2014. Credit and copyright: A Nartist.
An artistic view of the Partial Solar Eclipse, October 23, 2014. Credit and copyright: A Nartist.
The setting Sun, shadowed by the Moon and spotted with intense magnetic activity on October 23, 2014. Credit and copyright: Tavi Greiner.
The setting Sun, shadowed by the Moon and spotted with intense magnetic activity on October 23, 2014. Credit and copyright: Tavi Greiner.
Solar eclipse over the Flatirons near Boulder, Colorado.  A syzygy, with the Earth and Moon simultaneously transiting the Sun. Credit and copyright: Alex Parker.
Solar eclipse over the Flatirons near Boulder, Colorado. A syzygy, with the Earth and Moon simultaneously transiting the Sun. Credit and copyright: Alex Parker.
Partial Solar Eclipse of October 23, 2014 at 280mm. Credit and copyright: Forrest Tanaka.
Partial Solar Eclipse of October 23, 2014, at 280mm. Credit and copyright: Forrest Tanaka.
The sun sets while still in eclipse as seen from Duluth, Minn. Thursday evening October 23. Credit and copyright: Bob King.
The sun sets while still in eclipse as seen from Duluth, Minn., Thursday evening October 23. Credit and copyright: Bob King.
The solar eclipse on October 23, 2014, showing the Sun dotted by sunspots and airplane contrails. Credit and copyright: Greg Hogan.
The solar eclipse on October 23, 2014, showing the Sun dotted by sunspots and airplane contrails. Credit and copyright: Greg Hogan.
A cloudy closeup of the partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014. Credit and copyright: JCC_Starguy on Flickr.
A cloudy closeup of the partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014. Credit and copyright: JCC_Starguy on Flickr.
The cusps of the Sun's disk are just visible above the horizon as the solar eclipse of October 23, 2014 fades out over Iowa. Credit and copyright: Alan Boyle/NBC News.
The cusps of the Sun’s disk are just visible above the horizon as the solar eclipse of October 23, 2014, fades out over Iowa. Credit and copyright: Alan Boyle/NBC News.
A partial solar eclipse is visable just before sunset Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in Arlington, VA. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
A partial solar eclipse is visable just before sunset Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014, in Arlington, VA. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
The partial solar eclipse as viewed through a paper plate pinhole projector. Credit, copyright and pinhole: Nancy Atkinson.
The partial solar eclipse as viewed through a paper plate pinhole projector. Credit, copyright and pinhole: Nancy Atkinson.

See more great images on Universe Today’s Flickr pool page.

How to Safely Enjoy the October 23 Partial Solar Eclipse

2014 – a year rich in eclipses. The Moon dutifully slid into Earth’s shadow in April and October gifting us with two total lunars. Now it’s the Sun’s turn. This Thursday October 23 skywatchers across much of the North America and Mexico will witness a partial solar eclipse. From the eastern U.S. the eclipse will reach maximum around the time of sunset, making for dramatic picture-taking opportunities. Further west, the entire eclipse will occur with the sun up in the afternoon sky. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

During a solar eclipse, the orbiting Moon passes between the Sun and Earth completely blocking the Sun from view as shown here. In Thursday's partial eclipse, the moon will pass a little north of a line connecting the three orbs, leaving a piece of the sun uncovered for a partial eclipse. Credit: Wikipedia
During a solar eclipse, the orbiting Moon passes between the Sun and Earth completely blocking the Sun from view as shown here. In Thursday’s eclipse, the moon will pass a little north of a line connecting the three orbs, leaving a portion of the sun uncovered. To view a partial solar eclipse, a safe solar filter is necessary. Credit: Wikipedia

Solar eclipses occur at New Moon when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth and blocks the Sun from view. During a total solar eclipse, the Sun, Earth and Moon are exactly aligned and the Moon completely hides the brilliant solar disk. Partial eclipses occur when the Moon passes slight north or south of the line connecting the three bodies, leaving a slice of the Sun uncovered. For that reason, a safe solar filter is required to protect your eyes at all times. We’ll delve into that in a minute, but first let’s look at the particulars of this eclipse.

Map showing times and percentage of the sun covered during Thursday's partial solar eclipse. Times are Pacific Daylight - add 1 hour for MDT, 2 hours for CDT and 3 hours for EDT. Credit: NASA, F. Espenak with additions by the author
Map showing times and percentage of the sun covered during Thursday’s partial solar eclipse. Times are Pacific Daylight – add 1 hour for MDT, 2 hours for CDT and 3 hours for EDT. Interpolate between the lines to find your approximate viewing time. The arc marked A shows where the eclipse begins at sunset; B = Maximum eclipse at sunset and C = Eclipse ends at sunset. Credit: NASA, F. Espenak,with additions by Bob King

Nowhere will this eclipse be total. At best, polar bears and musk oxen in Canada’s Nunavut Territory near Prince of Wales Island will see 81% of the sun covered at sunset at maximum eclipse. Most of the rest of us will witness about half the Sun covered with the northern U.S. getting around 65% and the southern states  closer to 40%.  In Minneapolis, Minn. for instance, the eclipse begins at 4:23 p.m. CDT, reaches a maximum of 62% at 5:35 p.m. and continues on till sunset at 6:14 p.m. For times, coverage and other local circumstances for your town, click over to  U.S. cities and cities in Canada and Mexico.

Safe solar filters for looking at the sun come in several different varieties. Read down to learn more about each kind. Photo: Bob King
Safe solar filters come in several varieties ranging from plastic glasses to a #14 welder’s glass for visual observation and snug-fitting optical filters that fit over the end of a telescope. Credit: Bob King

There are several ways to observe a partial eclipse safely, but they all start with this credo: Never look directly at the Sun. Dangerous ultraviolet and infrared light focused on your retinas will damage your vision for life. Nothing’s worth that risk. Happily, filters and indirect viewing methods are available. Eclipse glasses fitted with mylar or polymer lenses are a great choice. I’ve used them all but my favorite’s still the classic #14 welder’s glass because it slips in the pocket easily and takes a beating. Make sure it’s a #14, not a #13 or lower.

You can mount binoculars on a tripod, cover one lens with a lenscap and project the sun's image safely onto a sheet of white cardboard. Credit: Bob King
You can mount binoculars on a tripod, cover one lens with a lenscap and project the sun’s image safely onto a sheet of white cardboard. Credit: Bob King

Telescopes should be outfitted with an optical mylar or aluminized glass solar filter that fits snugly over the top end of the tube. A welder’s glass gives a green solar image, mylar a blue one and black polymer a pale orange. Filters work by only allowing a fraction of the Sun’s light to reach the eye. At the end of this article I’ve listed several sites that sell a variety of safe solar filters for naked eye and telescopic use.


Easy guide to building a pinhole projector for solar eclipse viewing

Indirect methods for safe viewing include projecting the Sun’s image through a small telescope or pair of binoculars onto a sheet of white paper or cardboard. You can also build a pinhole projector shown in the video above. A box and piece of aluminum foil are all you need.

Tiny gaps along the length of this palm frond created a series of solar crescents during the July 1991 eclipse. Credit: Bob King
Tiny gaps along the length of this palm frond created a series of solar crescents during the July 1991 eclipse. Credit: Bob King

If for some reason you aren’t able to get a solar filter, all is not lost. The tiny spaces between leaves on a tree act like pinhole projectors and will cast hundreds of images of the Sun on the ground below during the eclipse. To see the effect even better, bring along a white sheet or blanket and spread it out beneath the tree. You can even cross your hands over one another at a right angle to create a pattern of small “holes” that will reveal the changing shape of the Sun as the eclipse proceeds.

The white crescents show how much of the Sun will be visible from a variety of locations at maximum eclipse. The farther north you go, the deeper the eclipse. Credit: Jay Anderson
The white crescents show how much of the Sun will be visible from a variety of locations at maximum eclipse. The farther north you go, the deeper the eclipse. Credit: Jay Anderson

Now that you’re rockin’ to go, here are some other cool things to look for during the eclipse:

* Sunspots appear black when viewed through a filtered telescope, but they’re no match for the opaque-black  Moon silhouetted against the Sun. Compare their unequal degrees of darkness. With a little luck, the giant sunspot region 2192  will provide a striking contrast with the moon plus add interest to the eclipse. This region only recently rotated onto the Sun’s front side and will be squarely in view on Thursday.

* The moon may look smooth and round to the eye, but its circumference is bumpy with crater rims and mountain peaks. Watch for these tiny teeth to bite into the solar disk as the eclipse progresses.

* From locations where half or more the Sun’s disk is covered, look around to see if you can tell the light has changed. Does it seem somehow “grayer” than normal? Is the blueness of the sky affected?

As I learned from comet discoverer and author David Levy many years ago, every eclipse involves the alignment of four bodies: Sun, Earth, Moon and you. We wish you good weather and a wonderful eclipse, but if clouds show up, you can still watch it via live stream on SLOOH.

Not only will the sun be eclipsed this afternoon but the planet Venus shines just 1.1 degrees to its north. Venus is very close to superior conjunction which occurs early Saturday. In the photo, the planet is in the background well behind the Sun. Don’t count on seeing Venus – too much glare! This photo was taken from space by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory this afternoon using a coronagraph to block the Sun from view. Credit: NASA/ESA
UPDATE: Not only will the sun be eclipsed Thursday afternoon but the planet Venus will shine just 1.1 degrees to its north. Venus is just two days from superior conjunction. In the photo, the planet is in the background well behind the Sun. Don’t count on seeing it – too close and too much dangerous glare! This photo was taken from space by NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory early Thursday Oct. 23 using a coronagraph to shade the Sun. Credit: NASA/ESA

Solar filter suppliers – for a #14 welder’s glass, check your local phone book for a welding supply shop:

* Thousand Oaks Optical — Large variety of solar filters for telescopes and cameras. Sheets of black polymer available if you want to make your own.
* Rainbow Symphony — Eclipse glasses and solar viewers as well as filters for binoculars and telescopes. The basic glasses cost less than a buck apiece, but you’ll need to buy a minimum of 25 pairs.
* Opt Corp — Offers high-quality Baader mylar optical filter material to make your own.
* Orion Telescopes — Glass and mylar filters for telescopes and binoculars.
* Amazon.com – Filters for naked eye use

Amazing Images of Today’s Solar Eclipse from Earth and Space

The images are pouring in. While most of North America slept this AM, Australians were treated to the very first solar eclipse of 2014 earlier today. And while this particular eclipse was a partial one only from the Australian continent, it still offered observers a fine view of an often elusive natural spectacle.

Michael Drew
The partial eclipse as seen from Adelaide. Credit: Michael Drew (@MichaelDrew1234)

Although rain and clouds frustrated attempts to view the eclipse from much of southern Australia, clouds parted long enough in Queensland to the east and areas around Perth to the west to offer observers a fine view. Many eclipse watchers on the Australian east coast had the additional bonus of catching the setting Sun during the eclipse.

Proba-2
A quick screen shot from ESA’s Proba-2 spacecraft during one of the three passes of the solar eclipse. Credit: ESA/Proba-2.

We wrote about the prospects for catching this bizarre eclipse previously. The eclipse was a rare, non-central annular with one limit only, meaning the antumbra or inner core of the Moon’s shadow just grazed the edge of the planet over Antarctica. We haven’t yet heard if anyone witnessed it from the southern polar continent, though two year round research stations were located near the path of annularity. The European Space Agency operates Concordia Station nearby as part of its Human Spaceflight Activities program and they were aware of the upcoming event. We’ll keep you updated if reports or images surface!

David Herne
The eclipse seen through clouds. Photographer David Herne also noted that while he used his D3100 DSLR for the shot, his homemade pinhole camera offered fine views as well! Credit: David Herne(@AunaEridu)/Perth Western Australia.

As predicted, another solar observing sentinel in low Earth orbit did indeed witness the eclipse. ESA’s Proba-2 spacecraft caught the eclipse on three passes in this amazing raw animation from its SWAP-2 camera. The final third pass goes by extremely quick –these are measured in minutes from Proba-2’s swift vantage point – but the Sun looks well nigh to greater than 95% eclipsed by the Moon as it flies by.

Silveryway
The partial solar eclipse as seen from Adelaide, Australia. Credit: Silveryway.

There’s no word as of yet if the joint NASA/JAXA mission Hinode caught the eclipse as well, but we’ll keep you posted!

UPDATE: Courtesy of the European Space Agency and the Royal Observatory of Belgium, we now give you the full YouTube timelapse of the eclipse courtesy of Proba-2:

You’ll note that Proba-2 caught the partial phases on four separate passes… we also checked the sequence frame by frame, and although it looks like Proba-2 “may” have seen an annular – or even total – eclipse from space, it looks like it did so between captures!

This eclipse is one of two solar eclipses and four eclipses total for 2014. An interesting discussion occurred leading up to this eclipse as to the minimum number of eclipses that can occur in a year, which is four. If, however, you exclude faint lunar penumbrals, that number does indeed drop to two, both of which must be solar, which occurs in 2016. This also sparked a lively debate as to the naming of such a year on Twitter, with everything from a “Dwarf Eclipse Year” to “Nano Eclipse Cycle” and “Spurious Eclipse Year” being proposed. We liked the suitably esoteric and ready tweet-able term “declipsy” ourselves… thanks for the proposals and the lively discussion!

Virtual Telescope
Cue Jaws music… a “shark fin” sunset eclipse. Credit: Geoffrey Wyatt/The Virtual Telescope Project.
The partially-eclipsed Sun sinks into the west as seen from Brisbane, Australia on April 29, 2014. Credit and copyright: Teale Britstra.
The partially-eclipsed Sun sinks into the west as seen from Brisbane, Australia on April 29, 2014. Credit and copyright: Teale Britstra.
Partial solar eclipse in Adelaide, South Australia on April 29, 2014. Credit and copyright: Silveryway on Flickr.
Partial solar eclipse in Adelaide, South Australia on April 29, 2014. Credit and copyright: Silveryway on Flickr.

Thanks also to all who sent in pics. We’ll be updating this post as more come in… and although eclipse season 1 of 2 may be over for now, 2014 still has another total lunar eclipse and a good partial solar in October, both visible from North America.

…And we’re only three years out and have just two more total solar eclipses to go until the historic total solar eclipse of August 21st, 2017…

Let the countdown begin!

UPDATE: Missed out on the solar eclipse today? Hey so did we, it happens to the best of us… luckily, YOU can now relive the all of the excitement of the eclipse courtesy of the folks from the Virtual Telescope Project in YouTube Splendor:

And finally: got pics of the partial solar eclipse that you took today and you want to share with the world? Put ’em up on Universe Today’s Flickr community and let us know!