As the year of total eclipse draws to a close, we are beginning to see hints of the end of eclipse, now only a matter of weeks away. OK, mid-March is 2+ months away, but have you noticed how the time flies by? So-called third contact is predicted for 19 March, when the light is anticipated to begin rising quickly. Previous eclipses have seen the time between third contact (end of totality) and fourth contact (end of eclipse) abbreviated to as little as 50-60 days, which would mean mid-May in this cycle. But these are merely predictions, and your continued observational effort will help tell the tale.
Since mid-eclipse in late July, a steady 60+ day light oscillation emerged, although the most recent observations suggest this has lengthened to ~80 days. Check out the visual data record to explore this.
December 2010 has been a busy month observationally, with the following large telescope observations obtained:Read more
In just a few days I'll be departing for my last scheduled observing run for this season at Georgia State University's Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) observatory located on Mount Wilson, CA (just to the North of L.A). In a similar spirit to my series of blog posts on observing at NASA's IRTF (preparing and conducting observations, what the data looks like, and what we hope to observe) I thought I would do the same for CHARA. Planning for the observing run consists of three stages: proposing, preparatory work for planning, and finally preparing the plan.
The seventh issue of the Citizen Sky Newsletter has been released!
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Thanks and take care!