January 4, 2011 Partial Solar Eclipse Webcast
Some parts of the world will be able to greet the first part of the new year with a Partial Solar Eclipse on the morning of Tuesday, January 4, 2011. This will be visible from most of Europe, the northern half of Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia. Sadly, this won’t be visible to the Philippines. The next eclipse that we will be able to witness will be the Lunar Eclipse on June 15 (eclipse at moonset) and the more spectacular Total Lunar Eclipse on December 10 which has all its stages visible to Philippine observers.
Four partial solar and two total lunar eclipses take place in 2011. According to NASA Eclipse Website, this 4:2 combination of solar and lunar eclipses in a single year is rather rare with only six cases during the 21st Century (2011, 2029, 2047, 2065, 2076 and 2094).
An explanation of this diagram can be found here.
> Local circumstances and animations for 532 different locations where the eclipse could be witnessed are also available from the the link included in the image caption.
> Universal Time (UT) is a timescale based on the earth’s rotation. To convert your local city time to UT, you may use this time zone converter tool.
A solar eclipse can only happen at new moon. When the moon totally covers over the sun, it’s called a total solar eclipse. However, since the moon only blocks out part of the sun today, it’s a partial solar eclipse. The percentage of sun that gets covered over by the moon depends on your place in the viewing zone. Remember to use proper eye protection when watching a solar eclipse! Here is a post from Sky & Telescope which discusses how to observe a partial solar eclipse safely.
To all other eclipse enthusiasts who won’t be able to observe this event from their own location or who can’t afford to travel to witness this phenomenon, I compiled here a list of links wherein you can watch free live web streaming of the eclipse courtesy of several local astronomical groups.
- Webcasts from the Israel Astronomy Society at Givatayim Observatory: www.education.org.il
- University of Barcelona’s Department of Astronomy and Meteorology:http://serviastro.am.ub.es/serviastro/www/html/eps2011/live/index.html
- Bareket Observatory, a private observatory in Israel*: http://www.bareket-astro.com/live-astronomical-web-cast/live-solar-eclipse-webcast-jan-04-2011.html (shared by AWB)
*The Moon will encroach 60% into the solar disk during thespecial live webcast by the Bareket Observatory. The webcast will takes place from 7.00 to 10.30 UT (GMT) on January 4. An “eclipse timer” on the webcast page will count down the time until first contact – the beginning of the eclipse when the Moon first appears to block the edge of the Sun’s disk – at 7.13 UT.
Please check this post for updates regarding these free webcasts. 😀
Clear skies to all!