I thought this morning I’d start the blog with a look at the heavens above as something cool should happen on Sunday around here, and while we’ll be on the fringe of a solar eclipse the timing of it may provide photographers with some great pictures.
Of course all this is weather/cloud dependent, and there is and increasing chance of us having more clouds in the area to finish the weekend, and even the potential of some storms to move in wither on Sunday or next Monday.
There will be a partial solar eclipse occurring later on Sunday. We will be able to see it in the KC area, although it will not be a total eclipse here, since it will be occurring near sunset it still might be pretty cool. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. The moon blocks the sun’s light and casts a shadow on the earth’s surface.
So how does this all affect KC..IF I’ve read my charts correctly and my times correctly, adjusting for DST, the eclipse will start @ about 7:25 PM, max out for us at around 8:26 PM as it ends because the sun will have set. To see it you will be looking towards the western horizon (where the sun is setting).
REMEMBER unlike lunar eclipses which are totally safe to look at with the naked eye, SOLAR eclipses like the one coming on Sunday ARE NOT SAFE To look at with the naked eye, as eye damage may occur if done for a period of time. Here are some safety thoughts from the folks at NASA to witness a solar eclipse! Here is a highlight though showing the seriousness of things.
“However, observing the Sun can be dangerous if you do not take the proper precautions. The solar radiation that reaches the surface of Earth ranges from ultraviolet (UV) radiation at wavelengths longer than 290 nm to radio waves in the meter range. The tissues in the eye transmit a substantial part of the radiation between 380 and 1400 nm to the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. While environmental exposure to UV radiation is known to contribute to the accelerated aging of the outer layers of the eye and the development of cataracts, the concern over improper viewing of the Sun during an eclipse is for the development of “eclipse blindness” or retinal burns.”
In the end, it may look somewhat like this picture from the folks at National Geographic.
Now the issue is whether or not we get clear skies for the phenomena…that is a bit of a question from 6+ days out as we’ll be tracking a cold front moving into the middle part of the country. Here is a look at the GFS forecast for Sunday…click on that graphic to make it larger.
It’s impossible to say whether or not the timing of that front is correct or not. The EURO does have a front in the region as well by the end of the weekend, and does create rain here on Sunday (our best chance as a matter of fact till then). So the heavens above have a chance of being trumped by the clouds below.