John Pazmino 
 NYSkies Astronomy Inc
 2014 September 13 
    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. 
    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
    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 
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. 
    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 
    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 
    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. 
    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. 
    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. 
    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. 
    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 
    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.