Monday, March 7, 2016

Pacific Ocean Solar Eclipse March 8 to 9 w/ Web-Casts

Solar eclipse animate (2016-Mar-09).GIF

This map shows the path of the Solar Eclipse of 2016 March 8 to 9.
(Image Sources: NASA, )

By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower

The first Solar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Sun of 2016 occurs primarily over the Pacific Ocean March 8 to 9. The Total Solar Eclipse will be seen within a narrow corridor in Indonesia and the Pacific Ocean. A Partial Solar Eclipse can be viewed over a wider area including Hawaii, western section of Alaska (except extreme northwestern tip of the state), most of Australia, southeastern and eastern sections of Asia, Oceania, and a large swath of the Pacific Ocean.

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. During a Total Solar Eclipse, for a short period of time, all sunlight shining in a narrow corridor along a section of the Earth is completely blocked. This small area of the Earth experiences darkness similar to nightfall, during this short period of time. A Partial Solar Eclipse differs from a Total Solar Eclipse as the Moon does not completely block-out light coming from the Sun.

As always with astronomical observing, viewing this eclipse is weather-permitting. If clouds obscure the Sun, this eclipse can not be seen at all. Although, even if it is cloudy, the sky will darken during the total phase of the eclipse, and perhaps during very deep phases of the partial eclipse.

Directly viewing a Solar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Sun with the naked-eyes is very dangerous, as any direct sunlight entering your eyes could cause permanent eye damage and possible blindness. Eye damage can occur quickly, without your knowledge, as there are no nerve endings in the eyes; hence, eye damage can occur without feeling any pain.

Blindness is very likely if looking directly at a Solar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Sun when using a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device which enlarges celestial objects, without also using proper filtering equipment.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER look directly at the Sun or any type of Solar Eclipse with a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device, unless you have the proper training and the proper instruments to do so safely.

This Total 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, live, viewing of the event on Tuesday Evening, 2016 March 8 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) / 23:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and ending at 9:00 p.m. EST / March 9, 2:00 UTC, at this Internet link: Link >>>

San Francisco's Exploratorium science museum, in collaboration with NASA and the National Science Foundation, is also sponsoring a live, Internet Web-Cast of the Total Solar Eclipse from Micronesia, 2016 March 8, 8:00 to 9:15 p.m. EST / March 9, 1:00 to 2:15 UTC:
Link >>>

If you live in the area where the Total or Partial Solar Eclipse can be seen in the sky, and you do not have the proper training and proper equipment 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 centers or museums, college or university 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 using the proper equipment.

Another way to safely view a Solar Eclipse is by making a Solar Pinhole Viewing-Box, with a pinhole at one end of the box and a white piece of paper (where the Solar Eclipse will be projected upon) at the other end. Light from the Sun would shine through the pinhole, projecting a very small image of the Sun onto the white piece of paper at the other end of the box. 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 “Solar Eclipse viewing glasses” (available for purchase from certain vendors, including on the Internet) 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 or exposed X-Ray film.

Made of aluminized Mylar usually in a cardboard frame, such Solar 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 usually cost only 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 for the Solar Eclipse of 2016 March 8 to 9 (Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC) ---

Partial Solar Eclipse Begins: March 8, 6:19:20.4 p.m. EST / 23:19:20.4 UTC
Total Solar Eclipse Begins: March 8, 7:15:57.3 p.m. EST / March 9, 0:15:57.3 UTC
Moon Phase: New Moon – Lunation # 1153: March 8, 8:54 p.m. EST / March 9, 1:54 UTC
Time of Greatest Eclipse: March 8, 8:57:11.5 p.m. EST / March 9, 1:57:11.5 UTC
Total Solar Eclipse Ends: March 8, 10:38:20.7 p.m. EST / March 9, 3:38:20.7 UTC
Partial Solar Eclipse Ends: March 8, 11:34:55.4 p.m. EST / March 9, 4:34:55.4 UTC

More on a Solar Eclipse: Link >>>

More on the Solar Eclipse of 2016 March 8 to 9 ---
Link 1 >>>
Link 2 >>>,_2016

Safe Way to View a Solar Eclipse / Eclipse of the Sun:
Link >>>

Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
              2016 March 7.

                                                               Historic 10-inch Siderostat-type Refractor Telescope at Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science.
        2016: 75th Year of Pittsburgh's Buhl Planetarium Observatory
                     Link >>>

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