Annular solar eclipse this weekend: where to see it in the skies, and online

Discuss

22 Responses to “Annular solar eclipse this weekend: where to see it in the skies, and online”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    I stared at the sun until I went blind.
    I made an eclipse within my own mind.
    Not just one planet, not one minor sun,
    I darkened my universe.  Boy was I dumb.
     – Strange DeJim

  2. Jardine says:

    I have terrible luck with solar eclipses. They always happen either after sunset or before sunrise or on cloudy days. I think the last one that was during the day and not cloudy was when I was in school. They wouldn’t let anyone go outside (even the guy who brought a proper welder’s mask), closed the curtains, and made it sound like we would be vapourized if we attempted to even look out the window.

    • Jesseham says:

      They put the fear of good into us too when I was a kid in school.  I never got it straight – does it make it appear safe to stare at the sun?  Like is it dim enough that you could even look without a special mask?

      • Jim Saul says:

        I know you’re kidding, but just for safety, remember that it isn’t the visible spectrum that does the damage first. Just like getting a sunburn on a cloudy day because of the UV, even if the occluded sun appears dim enough to safely stare at in visible light, it’s still burning your retina.

        By example, I have a couple of big sheets of congo blue and pure red lighting gels that I cut circles out of to mess around with infrared photography. I was tempted to use that filter stack to try to photograph the eclipse, since it appears completely black to normal vision… then checked trusty google to be sure I wasn’t being an idiot. Yep, I was being dumb. Glad I double checked before it cost me a lifetime of spotty vision and a DSLR.

        • PNWchemist says:

          I have to mention that there is simply no reason other than laziness to do something really stupid/harmful in the age of the internet. 

          If what you’re about to do is potentially harmful, and seems rather fun, someone has done it and bitched about it on the internet. 

          Yay for learning from the mistakes of others. 

        • Jesseham says:

          I wasn’t kidding and here is what I was looking for: “”Even when 99% of the Sun’s surface … is obscured during the partial phases of a solar eclipse, the remaining crescent Sun is still intense enough to cause a retinal burn, even though illumination levels are comparable to twilight,”  So it DOES look okay to look at, which is why there is all the fear that people will…

          http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/children-young-adults-suffer-most-from-solar-eclipse-blindness.html

  3. Ihavenofuckingname says:

    My behelit is totally crying blood. Is that bad?

  4. Richard says:

    The National park service has a good PDF graphic on which National Parks are on the path along with other materials:

    Solar Eclipse 2012
    http://www.nature.nps.gov/features/eclipse/index.cfm

  5. Jesseham says:

    Here in Sunny Seattle (really!) it’s not a 100% eclipse, but still like 90%…  I just called around to try to score some eclipse glasses or welding goggles (#13 or 14, if you look) and *no one* has any.  All sold out.

    Hole in a box for us, I guess.

  6. nox says:

    The NASA script doesn’t seem to handle DST, mapping Vancouver at 8 W instead of 7. 

    Be warned.

  7. Mantissa128 says:

    Understand a solar eclipse? What’s there to understand about a giant goat eating the sun that we all need to scare away with chanting and drumming?

    Sheesh.

  8. BonzoDog1 says:

    Anyone know how long it takes to burn out a sensor in a digital camera stopped down to F-22?
    It will be near sundown where I am and the atmosphere should help filter it.

    • nixiebunny says:

       You have two days to find out. Test away! Preferably with a very used or very inexpensive camera.

      I don’t think it’s a problem, actually. The modern sensors are much more durable than the old tube-based video cameras.

      But only take photos of the sun with a throwaway camera!

    • nixiebunny says:

       You have two days to find out. Test away! Preferably with a very used or very inexpensive camera.

      I don’t think it’s a problem, actually. The modern sensors are much more durable than the old tube-based video cameras.

      But only take photos of the sun with a throwaway camera!

  9. nixiebunny says:

    I was lucky to find out this afternoon that the office in the astronomy building I work in was selling paper sun-gazing glasses with super-dark lenses for two bucks each.  They were also distributing an email titled “Look right into the sun this month!” or some such highly-irresponsible phrasing.

  10. algosome says:

    Forget the complicated stuff with filters, goggles, or projection boxes.  Just throw a sheet of white paper on the ground under a tree.  The gaps between the leaves create hundreds of pinhole camera obscuras.  Seeing a field of many circular images with a chunk cut out of each one is awesome.

    • nixiebunny says:

       I discovered that trick in 1991. The sidewalk served as the canvas. This year, it will be a bunch of doughnuts.

    • lakawak says:

      Oh boy…you can see shadows of an eclipse instead of the eclipse itself! How EXCITING!

  11. planettom says:

    I note for the record that a lot of web articles about this mention that the next annular eclipse over North America isn’t until 2023.

    That’s technically correct, but — there’s a pretty spectacular total eclipse in 2017 over North America:

    http://www.eclipse2017.org/ECLIPSE2017_main.HTM

  12. lakawak says:

    I never understood the appeal of a pinhole camera for an eclipse. You are basically seeing a crude drawing of the eclipse. It is 2012 people! Set up a cheap camera on a tripod. And if you want to see it live. hook it up to a laptop or something. Or hell…just glance up at he damn thing. Some people seem to think that even seeing it for a split second will fry your eyeballs like a couple of eggs.

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