Thursday, July 31, 2008

Solar eclipse of August 1st

The solar eclipse will be total in strips of northern Canada, Siberia (there will be a live broadcast from Novosibirsk since 9:00 am GMT i.e. 10:00 am British Summer Time!), Mongolia, China: see a Google map of the path and a NASA home page for the event (NASA TV was broadcasting this event, from 6 am Eastern [American] Time: double-click for full screen or watch a recorded video, 11 minutes).

East Coast (mostly Canadian) readers will have to wake up very early to see a (very weak) partial eclipse. Most European readers should see a partial eclipse more conveniently before the noon of their local time. In Czechia, at most 1/4 of the Sun disk will be covered around 11:45 am.

In India and Pakistan (see a preview from Karachi), you will see a partial eclipse late in the afternoon, local time. A special comment for Indian readers: there are no ghosts or bad rays associated with the event. It's just a fu*king Moon blocking a part of the solar light before it reaches the Earth! ;-)

But don't look at the Sun directly, without something like multiple strong sunglasses. The power may be limited but it is still the same strong Sunlight with the same fraction of UV rays. ;-) Limit direct observations of the Sun with your eyes to a few seconds: the eye will recover. After 30 seconds, you would pretty surely burn spots on your retina!

Click the animation at the top for more data about the event (Wikipedia). Finally, another cool fresh piece of news from the outer space:

Phoenix finds water (ice) on Mars.

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