2013 Solar Eclipse on the Horizon

Stargazers across the globe are counting down the hours to Sunday’s big show in the sky.

The so-called hybrid solar eclipse early Sunday will dazzle everyone from amateur astronomers to full-time astrophysicists as the moon passes between the earth and the sun.

Folks in Florida can catch a glimpse — though not the full show — if they get up early and face the east before sunrise.

Coastal viewers in Florida should be in position for sunrise at 6:36 a.m. (That’s after you set your clocks back for the end of daylight savings.)

Never look directly at the sun. Use No. 14 welder’s goggles. Or look through telescopes or binoculars fitted with the proper safety filters.

Forget sunglasses. “They are worthless,” said Daniel Britt, a University of Central Florida professor and a member of the International Astronomical Union and the American Astronomical Society.

“The best approach is two pieces of paper,” Britt said. “One with a pin-hole and use that to project an image of the Sun onto the other piece of paper.”

Only those live viewers in central Africa and on a narrow path in the Atlantic Ocean will see a total eclipse.

Only about 60 percent of the sun will be covered for Orlando-area stargazers, appearing as if the sun had a bite taken out of it.

“The event will be visible at dawn on Sunday and will last for about one and a half hours,” said John Small of Rockledge, president of the Brevard Astronomical Society.

The weather should cooperate. Mostly clear skies are expected with a temperature of 61 degrees at sunrise.

Beachgoers on the east coast of the Sunshine State will get the best live views in Florida.

“It will only be a partial eclipse from here in Orlando, but that could be quite a dramatic view at sunrise, weather permitting, of course,” said Josh Colwell, a planetary scientist and professor of physics at UCF.

“Viewers will want a clear view of the Eastern horizon,” he added. “The beach is an obvious scenic spot.”

Slooh.com will live stream the total solar eclipse from telescopes in Africa.

Sunday’s display is called a hybrid because it has characteristics of a total eclipse — when the moon covers the sun — and a annular eclipse, when a bright halo of sunlight remains visible around the edge of the moon, according to CBS.com.

NASA says this hybrid is uncommon because it begins annular and ends total.

Most hybrids begin annular, change midway to total and revert back to annular at the end of the path, NASA said.

The Mint news website said the last hybrid solar eclipse was in April 2005. The next one is set for 2023.

The path of the moon’s shadow will begin about 620 miles east of Jacksonville.

It will span 8,540 miles before leaving earth’s surface in Somalia, where a 1-second-long total eclipse will occur at sunset.

Hybrid eclipses are rare.

Less than 5 percent of the 11,898 solar eclipses recorded and predicted between 1999 B.C. and 3000 A.D. are hybrids, Universe Today is reporting


Original article available here.

Comments are closed.