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Raman 2009-07-21 19:28

Total solar eclipse tomorrow
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There is a total solar eclipse visible tomorrow from India, China and the Pacific. This eclipse belongs to Saros 136, and lasts for 6 minutes 39 seconds at the central location which lies about 1000 kilometers south of Tokyo, Japan. This is the longest total solar eclipse of the century. The following animation shows the path of moon's umbra and penumbra during the tomorrow's solar eclipse.


Saros is a period of 6585.3 days (18 years 11 days) after which similar eclipses will occur. It is the period after which 223 New Moons and 242 transits of the moon across the plane of Earth's orbit coincide. I mean 242 times for the moon to travel from the ascending node to the descending node and back to the ascending node. These two nodes are points at which the moon's orbit crosses the plane of the Earth's orbit.

Since it is 1/3 days extra than a whole number, the Earth would have rotated 120 degrees west, so that we can view the eclipses at the different parts of the world. Such similar eclipses are named with the same Saros series number. After 3 such Saros series, (54 years 1 month 1 day) we can view a similar eclipse across the same part of the globe, but shifted either North or South.

For any total solar eclipse, the width of the moon's umbral shadow is not more than 300 kilometres of the Earth's surface. Not all solar eclipses are total, some are annular because the moon is at apogee to cover the Sun completely, so it leaves a ring of Sun around visible. Hybrid solar eclipses occurs when the moon's umbral shadow is just long enough to reach the Earth. The central location, very small place, will view a total solar eclipse, while the places at sunrise and sunset will view an annular solar eclipse. Places at the moon's penumbra will view a partial solar eclipse.

An annular solar eclipse occurs on 15 January 2010, whose central duration is 11 minutes 7 seconds and occurs near Maldives. It is the longest annular solar eclipse of the century. Lunar eclipses are of three types: penumbral, partial, total. During the penumbral lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the Earth's penumbra, though the moon is not completely eclipsed, the moon becomes dimmer. Since the Earth's umbral shadow is bigger than the moon's umbral shadow, a total lunar eclipse can last upto an hour and half, and can be viewed with the naked eye directly, and also that half of the globe that is facing the moon can see it up too.

Here are a list of upcoming solar and lunar eclipses.
Solar Eclipses:
2009 July 22 - Total, visible from east Asia and the Pacific
2010 January 15 - Annular, visible from east Africa, south Asia and south east Asia
2017 August 21 - The earth's umbral shadow crosses USA.

The annular eclipses of 2019 December 26 and 2031 May 21 cross over the South India.

Lunar Eclipses:
2009 December 31 - Penumbral, visible from east Africa, Asia and Australia.
2010 June 26 - Partial, visible from Australia and Pacific.
2010 December 21 - Total, visible from over the north America and the Pacific Ocean.
2011 June 15 - Total, visible from Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica.
2011 December 10 - Total, visible from east Asia, Australia and over the Pacific.

The current season is a series of 3 eclipses with 2 penumbral lunar eclipses that occurs on July 7, 2009 and August 6, 2009. These two penumbral lunar eclipses are negligible as only a small portion of the moon passes over the Earth's penumbra, to make only a small portion of the moon to become very slightly dimmer.

Technically, eclipse season is a period of 37 days over which eclipses can occur, when the moon is close enough to the plane of the Earth's orbit around the Sun (the ecliptic). During the other times, the moon is either too above or too below to the ecliptic. If such 3 eclipses occur consecutively over a row, then they must be total or annular solar eclipse within the center, the other two being penumbral lunar eclipses, or that total lunar eclipse within the center, the other two are partial solar eclipses.

cheesehead 2009-07-22 17:47

How'd it go?

Raman 2009-07-22 19:04

[quote=cheesehead;182254]How'd it go?[/quote]

For some reason, the animated GIF file attached to my previous post, doesn't work at all. Click up on the link on my post to see the path.

And then the next eclipse through the USA after August 21, 2017 is on
April 8, 2024 followed up so by the one on August 12, 2045, thus.

Here is the picture that is showing the paths of all the solar eclipses that are
occurring up so between 2001 & 2020, thus.


For your information, 6,343+ is 80% sieved so far, thus far.

cheesehead 2009-07-22 22:38

What I meant was: What did [u]you[/u] see? Clear skies, or not? Your impressions of the event? Did you take photos? Did you watch an Internet site?

Raman 2009-07-23 07:31

No, that since the greatest eclipse yesterday was when the Sun was too close to the horizon during sunrise, I have decided not to see it up. High buildings easily hide the view of the Sun when it is too close to the horizon, and also that it is a monsoon season now, cloudy, yesterday it rained, and so on. So, I didn't bother to wake up early yesterday.

Yesterday's eclipse was 69.3% of the Sun being obscured by the moon, from Chennai. I am planning to view the one on 15 January 2010, when I expect the sky to be much clear, during such a season. That will be a greater eclipse from our area. Though, that is not a total solar eclipse, that is an annular one. The track of that annular eclipse, the central line passes between India and Sri Lanka, however the annular eclipse will be visible from Kanniyakumari, Tuticorin, Rameswaram or Nagapattinam.

This eclipse occurs during the afternoon, when the Sun is near the zenith, so that the view of the Sun will be easily possible. Also that it does not take that long to travel to the above places from Chennai, so that I am planning to view that eclipse. Anyway, from Chennai, yesterday, total eclipse was not visible, so it does not matter at all if I missed the partial solar eclipse. Places where the total eclipse was visible such as Varanasi or Patna take 3 days to travel by train, or by airplane, it is too expensive.

I will view the annular solar eclipse on 15 January 2010, from the antumbra, itself. Total solar eclipse, when it gets dark enough spectacularly to see Mercury or Venus can be seen some other day, or to see the corona and the prominences surrounding the Sun. Or rather I plan to travel to the USA (or hopefully I would be there) by 2017, to see a total solar eclipse, during the zenith. Two total lunar eclipses, each of them occurring on 15 June 2011 and then on 10 December 2011, both being visible from India. They can both be viewed directly with the naked eye in the sky, without causing any eye damage at all, which is not at all the case with the solar eclipse like that, in the sky. I have special glasses bought recently to view the solar eclipse, though, at any time.

robert44444uk 2009-07-25 16:19

Just my luck to be out of Bangladesh - also missed last eclipse in UK in 1999. Bugger

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