By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower
Early Sunday morning a Partial Eclipse of the Sun occurs in Antarctica, southern Africa, and a large part of the Indian Ocean. The last solar eclipse of 2015 occurs a couple weeks before the last Total Eclipse of the Moon of the current Tetrad of total lunar eclipses, what some people call the fourth and final “Blood Moon” Eclipse.
A Solar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon, in its orbit around the Earth, partially or totally blocks light from the Sun from shining on part of the Earth. A Partial Solar Eclipse differs from a Total Solar Eclipse as the Moon does not completely block-out light coming from the Sun. So, viewing such an eclipse can be dangerous, as there is always sunlight in view during the entire eclipse event. An Internet Web-Cast will be available to view this solar eclipse safely.
This Partial Eclipse of the Sun can be viewed safely on the Internet via the Slooh Community Observatory web site. This web site will offer free-of-charge viewing of the event on Sunday, 2015 September 13 beginning at 12:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 4:30 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), at this Internet link:
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER look directly at the Sun or any type of solar eclipse with a telescope, binoculars, or any optical device, unless you have the proper instruments and the proper training to do so safely. To do otherwise could cause major eye damage and very possibly, permanent blindness instantly. Even looking at the Sun or a solar eclipse with the naked eyes could cause major eye damage. Such eye damage could occur without your knowledge, as there are no nerve cells in the eyes to allow you to feel such damage occurring or any pain at all.
If you do not have the proper equipment and proper training to watch a solar eclipse safely, you should check to see if there is a public viewing of the eclipse in your area. Often local planetarium and / or astronomical observatory institutions, science museums, college science departments, or amateur astronomy clubs have public viewing sessions of solar eclipses, where properly-trained astronomers will show the solar eclipse safely to the public.
Another way to safely view a solar eclipse is by making a Solar Pinhole Viewing Box, with a pinhole at one end and a white piece of paper (where the solar eclipse will be projected upon) at the other end. You would place your head inside the Solar Pinhole Viewing Box and look at the eclipse on the white piece of paper projection screen (it is NOT safe to look at the Sun through the pinhole !!!). Such a Solar Pinhole Viewing Box would look like this:
(Graphic by Eric G. Canali, former Floor Manager of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and Founder of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club)
A third way to safely observe a solar eclipse is to obtain special “eclipse viewing glasses,” which look like sunglasses but are much darker to protect the eyes. Regular sunglasses are NOT safe enough to view a solar eclipse, nor is smoked glass.
Made of aluminized mylar usually in a cardboard frame, such eclipse viewing glasses should be checked before each time they are used, to ensure they are still safe. Point the solar eclipse glasses at a lighted light bulb. If you see any tiny holes of light coming through the solar eclipse glasses, then that pair of solar eclipse glasses is not safe and should be cut-up and discarded. If such a pair of defective eclipse glasses would be used to view the Sun or a solar eclipse, the dangerous solar energy would go through the tiny holes and could damage your eyes.
Such solar eclipse glasses only cost a couple of dollars. So, it is better to buy a new pair than to use a defective pair of eclipse glasses, that could damage your eyes. But, always check any new pair of eclipse glasses, with a lighted light bulb, to be sure the new pair is safe to use.
Here are the times of this Partial Solar Eclipse event on Sunday, 2015 September 13:
Partial Solar Eclipse Begins --- 4:4140.2 UTC / 12:4140.2 a.m. EDT
Phase of Moon: New Moon – Lunation # 1147 --- 6:41 UTC / 2:41 a.m. EDT
Time of Greatest Eclipse (79 percent of solar disc obscured) --- 6:54:11.6 UTC / 2:54:11.6 a.m. EDT
Partial Solar Eclipse Ends --- 9:06:25.3 UTC / 5:06:25.3 a.m. EDT
Safe Way to View Solar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Sun:
Link >>> http://andrewcarnegie.tripod.com/solflyer2.htm
More on a Solar Eclipse: Link >>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse
Special Thanks: Eric G. Canali, former Floor Manager of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and Founder of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club.
Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
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