A partial Solar Eclipse will darken the North American Skies today 23rd Oct (Thursday afternoon). You can also watch the dramatic celestial event online too, if clouds hinder your view.
As per the official reports revealed, there is a special 3-hour webcast by the online Slooh Community Observatory for the partial solar eclipse today starting at 5:00 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) sharp. You can watch the show at http://www.slooh.com, which will feature live views from Arizona’s Prescott Solar observatory and other telescopes around the globe.
You can also watch the live coverage of the partial solar eclipse at Space.com. Some other webcast feeds are expected by the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California and the University of Arizona’s SkyCenter at Mount Lemmon.
As per the weather updates, all of North America should have good views of the partial solar eclipse. Most parts of the U.S. and Canada will see about half of the sun’s disk hidden by the moon; “greatest eclipse” occurs over the Canadian Arctic, where 80% of the sun will be blocked.
On the other hand, some parts of eastern Canada and northeastern United Stated will miss out the partial solar eclipse, because the sun sets before the eclipse gets started.
Depending on where you live, the solar eclipse will begin in the early, mid or late afternoon Thursday, 23rd Oct. In order to check the time of the solar eclipse in your area, you can see these tables compiled by NASA eclipse expert Fred Espenak: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHtables/OH2014-Tab05.pdf (for viewers in the United States) and http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OHtables/OH2014-Tab04.pdf (for people in Canada and Mexico).
When the moon, sun and earth line up with the moon blocking all or part of the solar disk from the viewers’ perspective, solar eclipses occur. The last solar eclipse occurred on 29th April this year.
If you are planning to watch today’s solar eclipse, be careful. Never look directly at the sun without special safety equipment because it resulted in the permanent and serious eye damage. You can build a pinhole camera or solar projector with binoculars to safely watch the eclipse.
Bob Berman, Slooh astronomer stated, “Even if the partially eclipsed sun is setting at your location, and appears red or orange and not too bright, it would be wise to glance only briefly at it. Moreover, telephoto lenses amplify the brightness, and it would not be safe to look at the sun through your camera lens even if the sun is setting. Eyesight is precious, and if there’s any doubt, don’t do it.”
Today’s partial solar eclipse serves as a warm up of sorts for an even more dramatic event 3 years from now. The viewers across the United States will be treated to a total solar eclipse on 21st Aug 2017, which is the first one evident from the adjacent 48 states in nearly 40 years.