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Rare Hybrid Eclipse Visible This Weekend

Frpm Weather Underground News

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The cosmos have saved a special treat for the final eclipse of 2013.

On Sunday, Nov. 3, a “hybrid” solar eclipse will be visible from the eastern coast of North America to Europe all the way to parts of Africa and the Middle East, according to an EarthSky.com report. The eclipse will begin over North America at sunrise and will move east through sunset on Sunday evening.

This eclipse is known as a hybrid because it will start as an annular eclipse before the Moon’s orbit gets close enough to Earth to become a total eclipse, reports Universe Today. Of the nearly 12,000 solar eclipses that have occurred since 1999 BC, fewer than five percent are hybrid eclipses, the report also states.

You can see an animated image of the eclipse’s shadow below.

Hybrid Eclipse

Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

According to the Washington Post, Washington, D.C. residents can expect to see the annular eclipse begin at 6:38 a.m. and will last for about 30 minutes. Areas to the east can expect the eclipse to last a few more minutes, and they will see slightly more of the sun’s area covered by the annular eclipse.

As for the solar eclipse, only the easternmost points of North America will briefly see it, which excludes all of the United States.

Also, remember to turn back your clocks on Saturday night with Daylight Saving Time ending early Sunday morning, before the eclipse begins, to ensure you don’t miss the celestial event.

This will be 2013’s fifth eclipse overall and the second solar eclipse of the year, Universe Today says.

October 30, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Technical Issue | , , , | Leave a comment

Gemenid Meteor Showers Peak Tonight!

I found this on BBC News; if where you live is as cold – or colder – that Pensacola, you will need to bundle up in a heavy down sleeping bag while you “relax and enjoy the view.”

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The annual Geminids meteor shower will reach its peak late on Thursday night and into early Friday morning.

The meteors will appear to radiate from a point near the star Castor, in the constellation Gemini.

In the Northern hemisphere, that will be westward and nearly overhead in the early hours of Friday.

Sky watchers can expect an average of dozens of “shooting stars” per hour, made easier to see by darkness provided by the “new moon” phase.

The shower comes about each year as the Earth passes through the path of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon.

The asteroid leaves behind a trail of rocky debris that the Earth ploughs into each year – debris moving at 35km per second that burns up in the atmosphere in what can be spectacular displays.

According to the International Meteor Organization, the “radiant” – the apparent point from which the meteors seem to come – will be visible from sunset in high northern latitudes, rising at about midnight local time in the southern hemisphere.

“For those old enough or tough enough to stay up until two in the morning, then the radiant point [in the Northern hemisphere] is almost overhead so you could basically look anywhere and see them,” Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society told BBC News. “Go outside, wrap up well, get yourself into a comfortable chair, relax, and enjoy the view.

“It could be 30 [meteors] an hour, it could be 100 an hour. But those are only average figures there maybe a period of 10 minutes that you don’t see anything but equally there may be a period of 10 minutes when you see 30.”

The Geminids are less well-known relative to other annual meteoric performances such as the Perseids, in part because December weather often threatens a clear view of the show.

For the UK that may again be case; BBC Weather reports that southern Scotland and the North of England will have clearest conditions into Friday morning but conditions will tend toward cloudy and windy across the UK through the night.

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December 13, 2012 Posted by | Beauty, Entertainment, Environment, Pensacola, Technical Issue, Weather | , , , | Leave a comment

Black Hole Eats Star

As you know, I am a great fan of astronomical events, and this one is simply amazing. You watch a star travel, and then it gets sucked into a black hole, as if it were a syrupy liquid. The black hole, spinning, starts shooting out radiation, towards Earth. I believe this is an animation, but cameras actually caught this event, which is flies in the face of previous expectations.

You can learn more about this and watch other science and sky related videos at the NASA Web Site

August 26, 2011 Posted by | Beauty, Interconnected, Technical Issue | , , | Leave a comment

Jupiter Closest Now!

The planet Jupiter is the closest to the earth that it has been in 47 years. Watch from sunset to midnight to catch the clearest glimpse you will get in your lifetime. I found this on AOL Science News where you can read the entire article:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Sept. 19) – Better catch Jupiter this week in the night sky. It won’t be that big or bright again until 2022.

Jupiter will pass 368 million miles from Earth late Monday, its closest approach since 1963. You can see it low in the east around dusk. Around midnight, it will be directly overhead. That’s because Earth will be passing between Jupiter and the sun, into the wee hours of Tuesday.

The solar system’s largest planet already appears as an incredibly bright star – three times brighter than the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. The only thing brighter in the night sky right now is our moon. Binoculars and telescopes will dramatically improve the view as Jupiter, along with its many moons, rises in the east as the sun sets.

“Jupiter is so bright right now, you don’t need a sky map to find it,” said Tony Phillips, a California astronomer under contract with NASA. “You just walk outside and see it. It’s so eye-catching, there it is.”

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Beauty, Technical Issue | , , | 4 Comments

Fintas Observatory

You know me, I’m a newspaper addict. Maybe even a news addict. I read many of the articles to the very end; I read some of the filler articles. Life is a mystery to me, in some of the exotic countries I live in (No, not exotic to YOU, but exotic to a little Alaska girl who finds herself in the fairy-tale lands of Arabia!).

So here is the real question. Every now and then, I find a reference to the Fintas Observatory.

I’ve looked on maps – no Observatory.

I’ve GoogleEarthed Fintas – some parts are still pretty vague, but I see nothing that looks like an Observatory.

The Kuwait sky is often murky with haze – the clear nights we are currently having are a fabulous rarity – but maybe they were more common in the past?

Do you know where the Fintas Observatory is? Do they allow visitors, or is it invitational only?

October 25, 2007 Posted by | Building, Community, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Local Lore, News | , , , | 9 Comments