October 22, 2014 8:41 pm

Oct 23rd’s Partial Solar Eclipse: This Week’s Reason to Keep Looking Up (Safely)

NASA image of a partial solar eclipse. Image Credit: T. Ruen

A partial solar eclipse occurs when the moon obscures only part of the sun from Earth’s view, courtesy of NASA. Image Credit: T. Ruen

If you’re in North America, and the weather cooperates, you will get the chance to see a partial solar eclipse tomorrow, October 23rd.

The eclipse will begin at 5:51 pm EDT and end at 6:08 pm EDT, after sunset in some viewing locations. In the Northeast, the eclipse peaks at 10% coverage of the sun, but if you’re in Alaska, you’ll see as much as 55% of the sun covered as the moon passes in between the Sun and our planet.

Earthsky.org has a great article on the eclipse here, including maps, simulations, and viewing times by time zone.

If you happen to be in New England, which is outside of the viewing range, or you’re in a location where clouds and rain will obscure the event, you can watch the eclipse on line. Our other favorite sky watching website, Sky & Telescope, has a list of links here: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/watch-partial-solar-eclipse-online/. They also have their own article about the event here.

Smart Viewing is Safe Viewing

Sky & Telescope has an excellent guide to safe eclipse viewing here.

NASA has one too, here.

Ask NASA Your Questions About The Partial Solar Eclipse

Speaking of NASA, you can Tweet with scientists from the Marshall Space Flight Center between 5-6 pm CDT, when they’ll be taking questions about the Partial Solar Eclipse. You can find more about that here or just tweet to them at the NASA Marshall Twitter account using the hashtag #askNASA.

Given the number of cosmic washouts recently due to full moons or bad weather, let’s hope we’ve got clear skies and good viewing tomorrow afternoon and evening.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

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