söndag 20 maj 2012

Solar Eclipse Tonight / Solformørkelse i natt

Tonight, the Moon will pass in front of the Sun, creating a Solar Eclipse. The eclipse is best seen in a band on the Pacific side of the Earth, where a so-called annular eclipse can be seen. During an annular eclipse, the Moon and the Sun are exactly in line (just like during a total solar eclipse) but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun, leaving a "ring of fire" around it, while during a total Solar Eclipse, the entire disc of the Sun is covered by the Moon.

For details on where from our planet the annular eclipse can be seen, I recommend a visit to the NASA Eclipse web-page: Annular Solar Eclipse of 20 May 2012

Here in Norway, the eclipse will be much less impressive and may be rather difficult to see, but from the northern parts of the country it should be possible to catch a glimpse of the eclipse. Since the eclipse will happen just after midnight here in Norway, the northern parts of the country, which now have midnight sun, are favoured.

As seen from Norway, only a tiny fraction of the Sun will be covered by the Moon , but if you have a clear view of the northern horison it should be possible to see the eclipse from around ca 01:20 - 02:20 local time in the morning of 21 May. The solar eclipse of tonight is the second midnight-sun solar eclipse possible to see from Norway within one year, the last one happened on 01 June 2011 (picture below).

The Midnight Sun Eclipse of 01 June 2011 as seen from Tromsø, Norway
The solar disc is covered by the Moon (top) while the Sun was setting
behind a mountain that covers part of the solar disk (bottom).

For detailed information about when and how the solar eclipse can be viewed from various places in the country and instructions on how to best view the eclipse, see the following web-page: Detailed information on how to view the Solar Eclipse from Norway

REMEMBER NEVER EVER too look directly at the Sun as it can cause permanent eye damage. Sun glasses, smoked glass, CD-plates or similar IS NOT ENOUGH. ONLY filters specially designed for the purpose should be used. In Norway, proper glasses for watching the eclipse can be ordered here: http://www.astroevents.no/briller.html

Below is a picture of the Sun with it`s many Sun-spots taken with a DSLR and Baader solar safety filter on 15 May 2012.

The Sun, 15 May 2012. Nikon D3, AF-S Nikkor 70-200 mm with Baader solar filter.
Note the many and large sun-spots that are covering the solar disk.


Even if the solar eclipse won`t be so dramiatic as seen from Norway this time, it is a very good idea to get hold of some solar-eclipse glasses now to be ready for the next big event that will take place on 06 June 2012 - the transit of Venus, which can be seen very well from Norway and is an historical event that won`t happen again anywhere on Earth in our life-time. I will post detailed information on the transit of Venus later in good time for the event, but I already now urge you to read more of the event here:

Norwegian readers: Venus passasjen 6 juni 2012. A very good overview of the event has been published by Jan-Erik Ovalsen and can be ordered here: Venuspassasjen 2012 informasjonshefte

International readers: http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/ or http://old.transitofvenus.org/index.htm

1 kommentar:

  1. Hva du ikke kan! Blir stadig vekk imponert over din kunnskap på astronomifronten. Tror jeg må få med meg den venuspassasjen. Med eller uten solbriller.