Tuesday, February 27, 2007

20070303 - Eclipse planning

On 03 March 2007, Moon will be in eclipse as it rises at 5:43pm. I'll be at Carl Schurz Park around the 86th St. entrance. I'm sure they will be many others. Eyes, binoculars, and telescopes should be plentiful. Ideally, the weather will be on its best to let us enjoy the show.

img credit: snip from larger illustration NASA's Eclipse Page managed by Fred Espenak

This eclipse is unusual because the Moon itself eclipses, or occults, this bright star during totality. 59 Leonis is magnitude 4.98, a challenge for the urban observer. This occultation will most likely require optics to observe the actual moments of ingress and egress. Perhaps a test for the eagle eye.

The following Eclipse time table & illustrations were prepared and distributed by John Pazmino.
Thanks, John!

17:43 moonrise 00 81 before sunset on March 3rd
17:44 totality begins 01 81 right after moonrise
17:48 sunset 02 82 moon in totality
18:21 mid totality 06 87
18:34 59 Leo ingress 15 95 2:00 o'clock on limb
18:48 nautical twilight 11 90 full night for NYC
18:57 totality end 13 92
19:11 59 Leo egress 15 95 2:00 o'clock on limb
20:12 partl phase ends 26 105 umbra leaves Moon
20:32 paenumbra leaves 29 110 ~20 min after umbra
00:17 Moon transit 55 180 on March 4th

image of eclipsed Moon & 59 Leonis prior to occultation

Illustration shows location of 59 Leonis a few minutes prior to ingress of occultation.
image of partially eclipsed Moon & 59 Leonis egressed from occultationIllustration shows location of 59 Leonis a few minutes past egress from occultation. Typically this is a challange when stars emerge from the bright limb of Moon but under this circumstance, a chance to see the star "blink" on should improve considerably.