TWO ECLIPSES IN 2014 OCTOBER -------------------------- John Pazmino NYSkies Astronomy Inc www.nyskies.org email@example.com 2014 September 13
Introduction ---------- New York City gets a second chance to witness a total lunar eclipse and a partial view of a partial solar eclipse in October 2014 The lunar eclipse is on 2014 October 8 in dawn hours. The solar eclipse takes place near sunset on 2014 October 23. In both cases the eclipsed body sets long before the show is finished. The first chance for the City to enjoy a lunar eclipse, on 2014 April 15, was smothered in cloud or at the very best severely impeded. The previous attempt to witness a partial solar eclipse, on 2013 November 3, was also clouded out. Unlike the April lunar eclipse there is probably no opportunity for collateral observations during totality because that phase occurs in morning twilight. The April lunar eclipse was unusual for having a bright star or planet next to the Moon. This October eclipse also has a planet, not a bright one. Uranus stands about 1-1/2 degree east of the Moon. It will likely not be easily seen under full Moon conditions before the eclipse and will likely be lost in the dawn sky during totality. The November 2013 solar eclipse and this one in October 2014 are almost similar because in both we miss mid eclipse. In November that moment occurred before sunrise. In October it occurs after sunset.
Lunar timetable ------------- The timetable of events for the lunar eclipse is presented here. The alt-az are for the Moon. Hours, which may differ by a minute or two from other sources, are Eastern Daylight Savings Time. --------------------------------------------- TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE, 2014 OCTOBER 8, NEW YORK --------------------------------------------- EDST | event | alt-az | remarks ------+----------------+--------+--------- 18:02 | Moon rises | 000 82 | in daylight 18:28 | Sun sets | 08 086 | end of daylight on Oct 7 18:56 | civil dusk | 09 093 | end of daytime work 19:27 | nautical dusk | 15 098 | start of full night in NYC 00:00 | midnight | 53 168 | Oct 7 --> Oct 8 00:29 | Moon transits | 54 180 | Moon at max alt on meridian 05:15 | 1st contact | 19 261 | start of partial phase 06:01 | nautical dawn | 11 268 | end of full night 06:24 |2nd contact | 07 272 | start of total phase 06:32 | civil dawn | 05 273 | start of daytime work 06:54 | mid eclipse | 01 277|| deepest coverage of Moon 07:00 | Sun rises |01 278 | start of daylight on Oct 8 07:06 | Moon sets | 00 278 | in daylight -----------------------------------------------------------
sSelenehelion ----------- In the timetable af the lunar eclipse the Moon and Sun are in the sky together TWICE. First instance is on the previous evening of October 7th The Moon already rose while the Sun is not yet set. The second is while the Moon is in totality on the morning of the 8th. The Moon sets after sunrise. It is possible to see the full Moon opposite the setting Sun and then the eclipsed Moon and after sunrise. The apparition of of ful Moon, in the clear or in eclipse, and the Sun together in the sky is the selenehelion (seh-leh-neh-HEH-lee=yonn). The selenehelion applies ol to a full Moon. We see the Moon at other phases in the sky with the Sun rather commonly. The Moon must be within the 24-hour span centered on the geometric full Moon moment to count as producing a selenehelion. It may not be feasible to see this vision for the sunrise instance, during the lunar eclipse, because of weather and lunar brightness. If the umbra is too dense, the Moon may be veiled behind the bright day sky. Haze, mist, fog, other filtering medium on the horizon may also hide the eclipsed Moon. Selenehelia are a feature of any total lunar eclipse where totality is in progress during local sunrise or sunset, yet this scene is commonly not alerted to in modern eclipse notices. The very term 'selenehelion' itself is about vanished rom the vocabulary of modern skywatchers.
Solar timetable ------------- The timetable of events for the solar eclipse is presented here. The alt-az are for the Sun. Hours, which may differ by a minute or two from other sources, are Eastern Daylight Savings Time. ------------------------------------------------ PARTIAL SOLAR ECLIPSE, 2014 OCTOBER 23, NEW YORK ------------------------------------------------ EDST | event | alt-az | remarks ------+---------------+--------+--------- 06:16 | nautical dawn | -- --- | end of full night in New York 06:48 | civil dawn | -- --- | start of daytime work 06:53 | Moon rises | -- --- | in dawn 07:16 | Sun rises | 00 | start of daylight 12:31 | Moon transits | 37 178 | max alt on meridian 12:40 | Sun transits | 38 180 | max alt on meridian 17:48 | 1st contact | 02 253 | partial phase begins 18:04 | Sun sets | 00 255 | end of daylight 18:04 | Moon sets | -- --- | Moon over 1/10 Sun diameter 18:32 | civil dusk | -- --- | end of daytime work in new York 19:04 | nautical dusk | -- --- | full night in new York City ------------------------------------------------------------ The Sun sets in early ingress partial phase with magnitude 0.11.
New York sky ---------- Only the lunar eclipse offers a night sky, It is filled with full Moon's natural luminous graffiti, possibly aggravated by autumn haze. Never the less, star-ID and some deepsky observing can be done. The entire winter array of constellations, gathered around Orion, is in south. Recall that one trick to see the stars of the next season, winter in this case, is to view the sky several hours after the usual night hour. The early motning hours before the lunar eclipse r allow diurnal rotation to carry the winter stars out of the east to center stage in the south. Leo and Ursa Major are rising in east and northeast. Pegasus is setting in west.Perseus and Cassiopeia are in high west. Jupiter is near the Cancer-Leo border, about half between the Praesepe cluster and Regulus. Uranus may be tough to pick out 1-1/2 degree east of the Moon. The best targets in the hours before the eclipse are double stars and asterisms, the latter best studied in binoculars. The three large clusters of winter-spring may be washed out by the Moon: Pleiades, Hyades, Praesepe. The Orion Nebula may also be dulled by moonlight.
Weather and time -------------- October can have very clean dry air, it being then in the middle of the annual Milky Way sighting season for the City. Even with the full Moon the sky could be sprinkled with smaller stars. On these cear night, the October air is generally mild and pleasant, calling for light outer garments. On the other hand, October can bring clouds and chill, autumn nights could be cloudy, rainy, and damp. What may be sufficient protection by day could be too weak for the predawn hours. Have hat and gloves to hand and perhaps an extra sweater. Be eisely about localized obstruction of the horizon by industrail activity and by mists and haze. Altho the sky may generally be clear, it can happen that there is a layer of haze or cloud along the horizon. Know jow your local sky behaves in autumn. Both eclipses occur under Eastern Daylight Savings Time, four hours BEHIND, EARLIER, than Universal Time. Going out to watch by mistake with Eastern Satandard Time will miss the entire show for both events. The Moo or Sun will be already set under the horizon .New York s reverts to EST on the first Sunday in November.
Viewing location -------------- The aspect of these eclipses is almost the same for all locations of the observer within the NYSkies region. The region enjoy essentially the same hours, altitude, azimuth for both eclipses, The figures in the timetables here are computed for Manhattan, The prime consideration is that you have a clear view of the horizon in the direction for each eclipse. Ideally you need a geometric southwest thru northwest horizon with no skyline. Even a low skyline can block significant portions of the eclipses. You may have to use two sites, being that the topography around New York is hilly and built-up. Make SURE, from your planetarium software that your prospective viewing spot does let you see the Sun or Moon up thru geometric setting, or as close to it as practical and feasible. The usual observing places on Manhattan along the Hudson River waterfront, a pier or park, may not work for these eclipses. The hills of new Jersey extend a couple degrees up. Look for a place with elevation on Manhattan, as example, to lower the skyline. Visit the site BEFORE the eclipses! You may find that only certain spots within the site allow seeing the setting Moon or Sun, while others block your view. For the lunar eclipse, make SURE your site is open for you in the predawn hours. Have in hand the proper permissions when you go to the site. There may likely be few public viewings for the lunar eclipse because of the very early hour. The solar eclipse may spawn many public viewings for the late afternoon thru sunset. Inquire at your local astronomy center for latest news.
Go west! ------ It i only br timezone effect that new York sees these eclipses for so short a duration. The next zone west, Central time, sees the eclipses one hour earlier with Moon or Sun higher in the sky. They then are in eclipse for the extra hour it takes for them to set. The second zone to the west, Mountain time, lets you see both eclipses from start to finish. The Moon there sets in a night sky. The lunar eclipse looks the same, only being in a dark sky, from any where. Heading west merely lets you see an hour more of it before moonset. The solar eclipse within the lower 48 states is about the same, except that western states get a slightly deeper partial eclipse. Because this eclipse is no where total, the umbra passing off of the Earth beyond the north pole, there is no reason to travel to a 'best' location. The extra hour from timezone shift is fully adequate.
Equipment ------- Probably the best views of a lunar eclipse are taken thru binoculars, not a regular telescope. There is no need for high magnification or amplification. Totable scopes of 75mm to 100mm aperture are good for this eclipse. This makes it far more feasible to bring suitable gear to a viewing site by transit or car pool. The solar eclipse, due to the small bite of Sun at greatest coverage, does need a scope. a low power one that shows the full disc is ideal. You must apply the proper solar filters ,for direct viewing thru the scope, or other safe method of observing the Sun.
Photography --------- Taking pictures of the lunar eclipse is like doing skyscape photography. At 2nd contact, in the dawn sky, the procedure shifts to that of low-light outdoor photography. Depending on our camera there may be sufficient ambient light for the auto-exposure mode to work. Photographing the solar eclipse requires solar filters, on camera or scope. If by chance there is a haze along the horizon, the Sun may be dulled enouh for a direct shot, but not ever for direct eyeballing!. Use the auto-exposure setting or the technique you know from previous solar eclipses. If you're using a telescope, try taking pictures by holding the camera at -- but not touching -- the eyepiece. Let the auto-exposure mechanism do its thing. You can moxie the images later thru image- processing software.
Experiments --------- The experiments performed on the umbra in a nighttime lunar eclipse may be hampered by dawn. for this eclipse. It's probably best to just enjoy the eclipse by watching and photography. With the bright dawn sky during totality, there is likely no special other observations feasible of the sky, like variable stars or comet hunting. There are also no practical experiments to try for the solar eclipse. There partial phase is far too shallow for us in the City.
COnclusion -------- It is rare that the City gets two eclipses two weeks apart, at a new and then a full Moon or vice versa. In this October 2014 the pair are both horizon events, requiring open sightline and clean sky. The latter factor is awfully iffy in New York autumn. The former demands a diligent search because your normal observing site may have a low skyline. The lunar eclipse offers the prospect of seeing two selenehelia, at sunset on October 7 and at sunrise, during the eclipse, on the 8th. The former should be visible, given clean horizon in both directions. The latter may be lost to an overly dark umbra or overly bright surrounding dawn sky.