Which future eclipses will be visible from my location? How will they be like? How long will they last? These are some of the questions answered by the new application Eclipse Calculator, designed for Android mobiles by the researcher from the UB Eduard Masana.
It is a new appealing tool for those who love astronomy; it is easy to use and it provides information about all solar and lunar eclipses or planetary transits from 1900 to 2100. The application, public and free, can be downloaded from the Google Play website (https://play.google.com/store). At first, it has been developed in Catalan, Spanish and English, but it is planned to translate it to other languages.
This is from Journey to the Stars astronomy blog – check it out, it’s got a lot of great info 🙂
If you’re anywhere in central or western North America, mark your calendar to get up before dawn this Saturday, December 10, 2011. That morning the full Moon goes through its last total eclipse until 2014.
The farther west you are in the U.S. or Canada, the better you’ll be set up for the show. If you’re in the Pacific time zone you can watch the Moon slip into Earth’s shadow completely, while the Moon is sinking low in the west-northwestern sky and dawn is brightening. In the Pacific Northwest and westernmost Canada, you can even see the Moon start to emerge from our planet’s shadow after the total eclipse is over — until moonset and sunrise end the show.
From roughly Arizona to the Dakotas, the Moon sets while it’s still totally eclipsed — though horizon obstructions and the brightening dawn may end your view somewhat before then.
In an ongoing mission to share a live view of the universe, Slooh, the online Space Camera, will broadcast a free, real-time feed of the December 10th total lunar eclipse from Australia, Asia, and Hawaii starting at 5:00 AM PST / 8:00 AM EST / 13:00 UTC. This total eclipse of the Moon, which will be the last one until 2014, will only be visible in its entirety from Australia, Asia, and the extreme north western portion of North America. Viewers in Europe and Africa will miss the early phases of the eclipse and it will not be visible at all from South America.
Stargazers all over the world are invited to simultaneously watch the total lunar eclipse unfold in what is expected to be a spectacular celestial event. The lunar eclipse will be broadcast in its entirety over a three-hour period, with the total segment of the eclipse of the Moon to occur starting at 6:06 AM PST / 9:06 AM EST. The live feed can be accessed at Slooh’shomepage on the web or by downloading the Android App at the Marketplace store.
This week’s total lunar eclipse will offer a rare opportunity for students, teachers, and the general public to measure the Moon’s distance and size duplicating the same techniques — with a Digital Age twist — used by Greek astronomers thousands of years ago.
On the night of December 10, The Classroom Astronomer (TCA) magazine will coordinate worldwide observations of the Moon’s position in the sky and its passage through the Earth’s shadow. (See Note 1 for regions of eclipse visibility.) These are key techniques — both now and in antiquity — for measuring the Moon’s diameter and distance from the Earth. The actual measuring methods are called the Shadow Method and the Lunar Parallax Method. TCA has created the website MeasureTheMoon.Org as a place for teachers — classroom and informal — students, and interested members of the general public to get information on how to measure the distance of the Moon (see Resources below).
The Shadow Method uses the transit of the Moon through Earth’s central shadow, the umbra. The angular size of the cross section made visible by the shadow on the Moon’s face is directly related to a unique distance. This was first accomplished by astronomers thousands of years ago, though they assumed a cylindrical shadow instead of the conical one we know it is today.
The Lunar Parallax Method uses a technique familiar to the ancient Greeks, triangulation, but which could not be done then because they could not communicate with observers far from Greece. Two observers today, thousands of miles apart, communicating via the Internet or telephone, can snap photos of the Moon at the same instant. They would see the Moon in front of different star fields, an angular shift directly related to the Moon’s distance and the distance between the observers.
Full Story: http://astronews.us/2011-12-05-1211.html
During a solar eclipse, the Moon’s passage overhead blocks out the majority of the Sun’s light and casts a wide swath of the Earth into darkness. The land under the Moon’s shadow receives less incoming energy than the surrounding regions, causing it to cool. In the early 1970s, researches proposed that this temperature difference could set off slow-moving waves in the upper atmosphere. They hypothesized that the waves, moving more slowly than the travelling temperature disparity from which they spawned, would pile up along the leading edge of the Moon’s path — like slow-moving waves breaking on a ship’s bow. The dynamic was shown theoretically and in early computer simulations, but it was not until a total solar eclipse on 22 July 2009 that researchers were able to observe the behavior.
Full Story: http://www.astronews.us/2011-09-30-1330.html