Two eclipses this September!

posted: 631 days ago, on Monday, 2015 Aug 31 at 01:52
tags: astronomy, outreach, almanack, Sun, Moon, solar eclipse, lunar eclipse.

Update: solar eclipse photos.

Partial Eclipse of the Sun – Sunday, Sep 13

A partial eclipse of the Sun – when the Moon moves in-between the Sun and the Earth – is a beautiful event to witness.

The eclipse early on Sunday morning will be visible across southern Africa. The table gives the time of maximum eclipse (when most of the Sun is covered by the Moon) as well as the altitude of the Sun at that moment.

For most of southern Africa the Sun will be very low above the horizon during the eclipse (which starts about 1 hour before the time of maximum) so make sure you have a low horizon from which to view it.

REMEMBER: Never look at the Sun without proper eye protection. Permanent blindness can result from the shortest look through binoculars or a telescope.

Predictions for places in southern Africa

The following list gives the time (SAST) of maximum eclipse, and the altitude of the Sun above the horizon at that moment:

Antananarivo (07:43, 39°); Bloemfontein (07:39, 17°); Cape Town (07:43, 10°); Cederberg (07:40, 11°); Durban (07:44, 22°); East London (07:47, 19°); Francistown (07:27, 17°); Gaborone (07:32, 16°); Harare (07:24, 21°); Johannesburg (07:35, 19°); Knysna (07:46, 15°); Komatipoort (07:37, 22°); Lusaka (07:20, 17°); Pretoria (07:35, 19°); Sutherland (07:42, 12°); Upington (07:35, 12°); Victoria Falls (07:22, 15°) and Windhoek (07:25, 07°).

Total Eclipse of the Moon – Monday, Sep 28

A total eclipse of the Moon is one of Nature’s true spectacles. The memory of seeing a blood-red Full Moon hanging in the sky will stay with you a long time, so make sure you see this one and share it with your family & friends.

The total eclipse this month starts early on Monday morning, just after 4 o’clock, and ends at about half past five. So either plan to get up early, or pull an all-nighter and have an Eclipse Party! The Moon will be low in the west so make sure you have a clear line of sight for the entire event.

The Moon will pass into the penumbra – the dim outer shadow of the Earth – just after 2 o’clock. Unless you are looking very carefully you probably won’t notice much of a change.

When the Moon enters the umbra – the dark part of the shadow – the real action starts (this is at 04:11, event U2 in the diagram) and you will see the Earth’s shadow beginning to cover the Moon. By maximum eclipse (M), the Moon will have an amazing copper or red colour, depending on atmospheric conditions. Now is a good time to practice howling!

nothing more to see. please move along.