Three eclipses to happen in North America

Three eclipses to happen in North America
MGN Online
Weather Talk
Saturday, January 18, 2014 - 4:59pm

Two total lunar eclipses to take place this year

I have always been intrigued with space. It's so vast and the idea of getting lost there is simply invigorating.

So I will touch on more topics that involve space in the next upcoming Weather Talks, and in today's we will find out when we should camp out to make sure we catch some of nature's grandest spectacles taking place this year!

Quick Fact: Up to seven of them can take place in one year, though the last time that happened was 1982.

The fewest that can take place is four, and that will be the case this year. But not to worry, because the good news is that three of these events will be observable from North America!

But before we get started with those dates, let's start with a few quick facts.

A lunar eclipse is observable anywhere on Earth where the Moon is above the horizon!

But there's still an element of luck involved, of course! You need a rabbit's foot, a four leaf clover and find a penny facing heads up!

Not really, actually in December 2011's total lunar eclipse was gorgeous from Los Angeles but completely unobservable from New York.

In 2014 we'll be treated to two total lunar eclipses, the first ones since late 2011.

If the Moon completely hides the Sun, even for a moment, the eclipse is considered total.

With its brilliant disk completely covered, the Sun's white outer atmosphere is momentarily revealed for durations from seconds to minutes.

Last year, for example, hundreds of eclipse-chasers converged in northern Kenya to watch just 11 seconds of totality, according to: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/237963491.html

The first total lunar eclipse is April 15! This will be the first lunar eclipse in 2 and a half years! Crossing our fingers there are clear skies that day, April's event is observable in its entirety across North America and western South America.

Those in Europe and Asia won't be able to see it. It's a late-night, early-morning event, though, with mid-eclipse at 7:46 Universal Time.

On April 29 we will see a Solar Eclipse. After the Moon has swung around from full to new, it passes in front of the Sun to create a ring eclipse. But this year, there is a slight change. Instead an off-centered ring, lasting just 49 seconds, will be visible only from a tiny bit of Antarctica. This is a viewing site so remote that annularity might go unseen by human eyes.

And lastly, on October 8, we will see another total Lunar Eclipse! The year's second lunar cover-up again favors observers in North America.

This timing means the Moon will set during totality for those in eastern Canada and along the East Coast.

Skywatchers in Australia and the eastern half of Asia get to view totality shortly after sunset.

This lunar eclipse won't start until 10:55 UT (3:55 a.m. PDT or 6:55 a.m. EDT). http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/237963491.html

Finally we will see a partial Solar Eclipse on October 23! 

People wantng to see this eclipse would have to go to near Prince of Wales Island in Canada's Nunavut Territory, where the Moon will cover more than 80% of the Sun's diameter. 

The time for this one would be  at 3:00 p.m. PDT in Seattle  where 55% of the Sun's area covered and 5:53 p.m. CDT in Dallas (30%). 

Make sure to mark your calendar!

 

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