July 29, 2008 at 3:31 pm #28819
On Friday, August 01, a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from a narrow corridor that traverses half the Earth. The path of the Moons umbral shadow begins in Canada and extends across northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China where it will end at sunset [Espenak and Anderson, 2006]. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moons penumbral shadow, which includes northeastern North America, and most of Europe and Asia (Figure 3).
The path of totality begins in northern Canada, where the Moons umbral shadow first touches down in the province of Nunavut at 09:23 UT (Figure 4). Along the sunrise terminator in Queen Maud Gulf, the duration is 1min 30s from the centre of the 206km wide path. Traveling over 0.6km/s, the umbra quickly sweeps north across southern Victoria Island, Prince of Wales Island and Northern Somerset Island. The shadow’s northern limit clips the southeastern corner of Cornwallis Island and just misses the high Arctic town of Resolute. The nearly 200 residents of this isolated settlement will witness a partial eclipse of magnitude of 0.997 at 09:26 UT with the Sun 7° above the horizon.
Continuing on its northeastern trajectory, the umbra crosses Devon Island and reaches the southern coast of Ellesmere Island. The central line cuts across Nares Strait as the shadow straddles Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Canada’s remote outpost Alert, the northernmost permanently inhabited place on Earth, lies near the northern limit of the eclipse track and experiences 43s totality with the Sun at 16° altitude at 09:32 UT.
After crossing northern Greenland, the track passes between Franz Josef Land and Svalbard. By the time the central line reaches the northern coast of Novaya Zemlya (10:00 UT), the duration is 2min 23s with the Sun at 31°. The track crosses both the island and the Kara Sea before reaching the Yamal Peninsula and the Russian mainland.
The instant of greatest eclipse occurs at 10:21:07 UT (latitude 65° 39’N, longitude 72° 18’E) when the axis of the Moons shadow passes closest to the centre of Earth (gamma = +0.8307, where gamma is the minimum distance of the Moons shadow axis from Earths centre in units of equatorial Earth radii). Totality reaches its maximum duration of 2min 27s, the Suns altitude is 34°, the path width is 237km and the umbras velocity is 0.507km/s.
During the next hour, the Moon’s umbra works its way across central Asia (Figure 5). The shadow gradually picks up speed and its course changes from south-southeast to nearly east at its terminus. Novosibirsk, Russia’s third most populous city, lies only 18km from the central line. The midpoint of Novosibirsk’s 2min 18s total eclipse occurs at 10:45 UT with the Sun’s altitude at 30°. Three and a half minutes later, Barnaul is plunged into a 2min 16s total eclipse.
The centre of the track follows the China-Mongolia border for several hundred kilometres while the central duration and the Sun’s altitude both decrease. From Altay, China, the total eclipse begins at 10:59 UT and lasts 1min 25s with the Sun 25° above the horizon. Across the border, western Mongolia is very sparsely populated and the Altan Mountains bring cloudiness to the area. Ten minutes later, the umbra just misses Hami, China where a deep partial eclipse of magnitude 0.998 occurs at 11:10 UT. This region in northwest China is noteworthy because it offers some of the most promising weather prospects along the entire eclipse path. Its position between the Gobi Desert to the east and the Talikmakan Desert to the west spares it from the monsoon systems that affect much of Southeast Asia during the summer months.
During the final ten minutes of the umbra’s track, it quickly sweeps across northern China as the duration of totality and the Sun’s altitude decrease. The major city of Xi’an straddles the southern limit where maximum eclipse occurs with the Sun just 4° above the horizon. From the central line 106 km to the north, the duration of totality still lasts 1min 35s. Seconds later, the axis of the Moon’s shadow lifts off Earth and the central eclipse ends (11:20 UT). Over the course of 2 hours, the Moons umbra travels along a path approximately 10,200 km long and covers 0.4% of Earths surface area. Path coordinates and central line circumstances are presented in Table 4.
Partial phases of the eclipse are visible from most of Asia, northern Europe and northern Canada. Local circumstances for a number of cities are listed in Table 5. All times are given in Universal Time. The Sun’s altitude and azimuth, the eclipse magnitude and obscuration are all given at the instant of maximum eclipse.
This is the 47th eclipse of Saros 126. The series began with the first of eight partial eclipses on 1179 Mar 10. The first central eclipse was annular in the Southern Hemisphere on 1305 May 24. It was followed by 27 more annular eclipses before the series produce three hybrid eclipses in 1828, 1846 and 1864. The first total eclipse of the series occurred on 1882 May 17. The series will produce 10 total eclipses, the last of which is 2044 Aug 23. Thus, there are only two more central eclipses after the 2008 eclipse. The series terminates on 2459 May 03 after a long string of 23 partial eclipses. Complete details for Saros 126 may be found at:
——————————————————————————–July 31, 2008 at 8:11 pm #28820
Thanks for the information about the eclipse…
but does anyone else think that russian site is kind of arrogant to claim that their model of the yin and yang symbol is “the only true magical” one, especially since it denies the aspect of the symbol moving faster or slower, which changes the curvature (slow one has little curve, fast one has more curve)..July 31, 2008 at 10:38 pm #28822
COMET ALERT: Earlier today, the SOHO spacecraft detected a comet plunging toward the sun and it appears headed for closest approach during Friday’s total eclipse. Experienced astronomers in the path of totality may be able to photograph the doomed comet shining like a 5th or 6th magnitude star about 2o from the edge of the eclipsed sun. The Minor Planet Center has just released an ephemeris for the comet, newly named C/2008 O1 (SOHO).
Having just done greater Kan and Li I find this interesting but have yet to make sense of it
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