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Partial lunar eclipse this weekend

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A partial lunar eclipse will grace our skies during this weekend and, while timing (and temperature) will certainly be less than ideal for Australian observers, it should provide a good spectacle for those brave ones who choose to go out.

In Melbourne, the eclipse will be cut short by the Moon setting (and the Sun rising) before it ends, but (weather permitting) one should be able to see it almost at its maximum. The umbral eclipse will start at 5:35am on Sunday (19:35 UTC on Saturday) and the maximum eclipse happens at 7:10am; infuriatingly, the Sun will rise at 7:02am and the Moon will set at 7:04am... but, if you live further west, you get to see more of it, and observers in Perth get to see the full umbral eclipse.

Still, if the weather is good and you can get a good, unobstructed view of the western horizon and you can get yourself out of bed at 5:30am on a Sunday, it will be a good show. If the weather is not that good, you can check a live webcast of the eclipse (as seen from Birmingham, UK) at the Lunar Observers website — assuming the weather there is good, of course.

Total Solar Eclipse, 01 August

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This Friday we'll once again have the amazing spectacle of a total solar eclipse. This usually happens about once a year somewhere in the world (although the last one was in 2006), but for any given point on the globe it's more like once a century.

The event of this year will be visible in the far north of Canada, the northern tip of Greenland and on a large swatch of Russia, Mongolia and China (yes, it does look like everything happens in China nowadays); also, almost all of Europe (except Portugal and Spain), most of Russia and China, all of the Middle East and India will see a partial eclipse. Totality will start in Nunavut, in Canada, at 19:21 Melbourne time (09:21 UTC), and end in northern China at 21:21 Melbourne Time (11:21 UTC).

As usual, NASA has a very detailed web page dedicated to the eclipse, including an embedded Google Map showing the path of totality and technical information for any given point. Plus, for those of us outside the path of the eclipse, NASA will also be broadcasting the event live from China starting at 20:00 Melbourne time (10:00 UTC) on Friday.

The next total eclipse will happen in July of 2009, but before that we'll have a partial lunar eclipse on 16 August that will be partially visible from Australia. More details closer to the event.

More carnivals

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The Carnival of Space has reached edition number 50! It's hosted at KySat, the website of the Kentucky Space Program. This week, you can read lots and lots of articles about Mars and its satellites, plus information about the Rocket Racing League (yes, it is as fun as it sounds) and, fittingly, you can also watch an episode of Firefly. And much more, of course.


My bookmarks for this week

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Shared bookmarks for del.icio.us user wafonso

My bookmarks for this week

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Shared bookmarks for del.icio.us user wafonso

My bookmarks for this week

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Shared bookmarks for del.icio.us user wafonso


  • Catalyst: Celestial Navigation - ABC TV Science
    Long before Europeans were exploring the world’s oceans, Polynesian sailors had successfully landed upon just about every scrap of earth in the Pacific – without any conventional navigational tools.
    Tagged as: [astronomy science australia]

  • What is the point of astronomy? | Astronomy Blog
    Why do we pay for space science/astronomy?
    Tagged as: [science astronomy]

  • Transit of Mercury, 9 November 2006
    On the morning of Thursday, November 9, Mercury will transit the Sun as seen from Australia, New Zealand and parts of the Pacific, East Asia and the Americas.
    Tagged as: [astronomy science planets]

My bookmarks for this week

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Shared bookmarks for del.icio.us user wafonso

My bookmarks for this week

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Shared bookmarks for del.icio.us user wafonso

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