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Rare 'Annular Solar Eclipse' Tonight

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the ring-around-the-rosy dept.

Space 116

New submitter Trubacca writes "The Northern-Pacific "Ring of Fire" has an opportunity tonight to observe an entirely different "ring of fire": an annular solar eclipse where the moon, owing to its distance from the Earth, seems smaller than the apparent diameter of the sun. This results in the fiery ring for which the phenomenon takes its name. Space.com has a decent write-up on the path of the eclipse, times, and tips for safe-viewing."

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Grammar police (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059079)

Its. Learn it, love it, live it and spell it CORRECTLY.

Re:Grammar police (1)

who's got my nicknam (841366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059101)

Thank you. In the 15 seconds it took me to log in, you beat me to the punch. Bloody grocer's apostrophes.

Re:Grammar police (1)

DSS11Q13 (1853164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059261)

Since we're being grammar police, that is not a grocer's apostrophe. A grocer's apostrophe is an apostrophe on plural nouns ending in the letter s. The OP's mistake is an equally common phenomenon but I don't know of any pedantic name for it.

Re:Grammar police (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059403)

I think a store that has a bin full of grocers for sale should be allowed to use the grocer's apostrophe and label the bin "grocer's".

Re:Grammar police (2)

Trubacca (941152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059195)

Its. Learn it, love it, live it and spell it CORRECTLY.

Heh.. guilty as charged. Allow me to beg for forgiveness, it was a first-time submission newbie-error.. We tend to learn more from our mistakes than our successes, especially when it is made on the internet in front of millions of people ;-) I spent my review time fixing the capitalization, which I probably got wrong anyway.

Re:Grammar police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059891)

shut the fuck up. newbie-error? idiot.

Need not begging (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059899)

English today is so mixed up that who's to say which version of English _is_ the correct one?

Re:Need not begging (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060059)

... who's to say which version of English _is_ the correct one?

To the casual observer, the answer to this question seems to be "Pretty much everyone." ;-)

In English, "correct" generally means "whatever silly 'rules' someone has taught me". We have no official standards body for the language, after all, which you'd think would mean that there is no such thing as "standard English". But the reality is that anyone and everyone feels not just permitted, but required to make up rules about the language and criticise others for violating them.

Historically, most of the well-known rules for English seem to have originated as Latin rules, imposed on English by people who thought that Latin was the perfect language, and any language that worked even slightly differently was wrong, wrong, wrong. But lately, we've heard from people who seem to have just made up rules, and critcised people who weren't even violating them. Thus, we have the common advice that "passive" is wrong, but it's clear that most people who criticise its use have no idea what "passive voice" even means.

We also have fun things like spelling "reforms" promulgated by different semi-official government or educational bodies in various English-speaking countries, without bothering to check with similar organizations in other English-speaking countries. Thus, the spell-checker in this version of FF underlines my use of "criticised" above as an error, although it's the "standard" spelling in various countries. So you can't win this game.

But it keeps us entertained. And, let's face it, verbally attacking others for poor spelling or grammar is a lot better than killing them for various real or imagined trespasses or threats.

Re:Need not begging (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060131)

Historically, most of the well-known rules for English seem to have originated as Latin rules, imposed on English by people who thought that Latin was the perfect language, and any language that worked even slightly differently was wrong, wrong, wrong. But lately, we've heard from people who seem to have just made up rules, and critcised people who weren't even violating them. Thus, we have the common advice that "passive" is wrong, but it's clear that most people who criticise its use have no idea what "passive voice" even means.

"English follows other languages into dark alleys, beats them up for their words and goes through their pockets for loose vocabulary." -- variously attributed

Anyone have any idea how many languages English has taken words from? Spelling rules in English are mind-bogglingly complicated because they include sub-orthographies for pretty much every one of those languages, some based on standard transliterations, others maybe kind of sort of quasi-phonetic, still others whatever worked for the first batch from that language. And of course spellings mutate over time in common usage, and sometimes the colloquial spelling will displace the "linguistically correct" one, as in almost any other language, but ten times as much in English because English has at least ten times as much vocabulary .. for the reason above. The bulk of the language is Germanic (via Old English which was basically an esoteric dialect of German), Romance (via Norman French), Latin, and Greek, in roughly that order, and the Latin/Greek distinction definitely influences a lot of seemingly contradictory rules. There's some "making it up as they go along" in the case of some source languages, but with others, the original spelling (or transliteration for non-Latin-script languages, where transliteration systems exist, and often archaic ones like the Wade-Giles system for Chinese) tends to take precedence unless it's just too weird for the average English speaker. But whole theses or possibly even dissertations could be written on this subject..

Re:Grammar police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060801)

Since you're on a learning curve:

"where the moon, owing to it's distance from the Earth, seems smaller than the apparent diameter of the sun." Hmm, I think you'll find that the moon actually is smaller than the diameter of the sun, real or apparent.

Re:Grammar police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061519)

Since you shouldn't be throwing stones from your glass house:

The moon wasn't being compared to the actual diameter of the sun, it was being compared to the APPARENT diameter of sun. There's a difference, asshat.

Re:Grammar police (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059249)

There, Their, They're, it'll all be better in the morning

Re:Grammar police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059363)

There, Their, They're, it'll all be better in the morning

I'm gonna get some mod points, come back and up this one.

Re:Grammar police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062049)

I'm gonna get some more points, come back, and criticize that one for using a comma in place of a semicolon.

Re:Grammar police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059923)

for those that can't remember the difference .... http://learnyourdamnhomophones.com/

Re:Grammar police (2)

Squeeonline (1323439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060105)

Its. Learn it, love it, live it, and spell it CORRECTLY.

FTFY: You were missing the serial (or Oxford) comma in your sentence.

Re:Grammar police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060547)

LOL, I suppose you add the superfluous extra s after possessive words like boss' as well.

Re:Grammar police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061531)

That's actually considered acceptable according to most current grammatical guides.

Doesn't mean I think people should do it, just means that most of the books say it's ok.

A bit late don't you think? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059087)

The eclipse is basically over. Here in China it's arriving just after dawn and isn't going to be headed more than a thousand miles to the west of hear. In other words, this would have been useful information yesterday or the day before, but right now it's already passed pretty much everybody posting here.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (1)

who's got my nicknam (841366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059113)

Thank you for using "it's" correctly.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (2)

cyn1c77 (928549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059267)

It doesn't start in the US for a few hours.

If you care about viewing astronomical events, you may want to find a more reliable space information source than /. (like an astronomy magazine).

Also, you can't view this eclipse without eye protection.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060343)

Sure you can, I did just that earlier today. That advice assumes that the sun isn't being obstructed by clouds or heavy cloud cover. There's no actual difference between clouds and glass blocking out most of the light. I was able to view it just fine with no eye protection and no squinting, and not even the after image that you would get if you looked directly at a light bulb.

And last I checked, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, which means that Asia is at the tail end of observing things rather than the beginning. Unless of course there's a secondary eclipse that I'm not aware of that happens tonight as well. But, I saw one this morning in China and I doubt very much that there's going to be another one tomorrow.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (2)

synaptik (125) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061499)

No, Asia was at the beginning. Both the sun's and moon's apparent motion is East-to-West, but the moon's *actual* (monthly) motion is West-to-East. The moon's orbital velocity is faster than the Earth's rotational velocity (in magnitude,) so the shadow's net velocity is still West-to-East.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059293)

This is incorrect. Here is a live feed [universetoday.com] . Kicks off at 6PM Pacific time.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060451)

Yeah, apparently it's moving eastward, which wasn't something I realized at the time. Also the date is rather screwy due to the dateline. My mistake.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059301)

this would have been useful information yesterday or the day before,.

Totally agree

Just a few days notice and I'd of gone camping this weekend. Lake Almanor California,
looks to be in the path of totality and only 450 miles from me. (NASA's PDF doesn't download).

Too bad.

I have seen one total eclipse as it passed overhead. Went to a local hill to watch it
then late to work. It was grand, got to see a few prominences through the telescope.

Like to of seen this one as well.

On the bright side, this is one article not likely to be duplicated.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060143)

I first heard about it at least 6 months ago*. I've seen 2 or 3 stories about it in the past 2 weeks. Ya just got to pay a little attention to hear about these things.

Re:A bit late don't you think? (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060531)

Totality? You do realize that this is an Annular Eclipse and not a Total Eclipse right? The Moon is too far away to completely block out the sun this time.

When can i see it? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059103)

Kudos to someone who can point me to a website that lets you find out when you can see it baaed on your location. I've been looking on and off since yesterday and haven't been able to find the times for my area.

Re:When can i see it? (3, Informative)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059159)

http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2012-may-20 [timeanddate.com] is a nice resource.

Re:When can i see it? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059189)

Saw this yesterday. Was useful for getting an approximation but they didn't list when it was actually occurring for my area. I had to infer it based on the animation and the times.for the first and last places to see it.

Re:When can i see it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059331)

http://shadowandsubstance.com/ [shadowandsubstance.com]

You can pick a location, and it'll show you an animated view (including times, etc, etc).

Re:When can i see it? (2)

safetyinnumbers (1770570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059701)

If you install stellarium you can run time back and forth for your location. You can judge the time by eye that way.

NUKE the SUN! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059105)

If every country on Earth fired all of their nukes into the sun, what would be the reaction?

Re:NUKE the SUN! (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059147)

Reaction of what? People? Or the sun? The answers are quite different.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059161)

If every country on Earth fired all of their nukes into the sun, what would be the reaction?

Depends where you are; Earth would have no nukes, the Sun would have an overflow of fucks not given.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059253)

If every country on Earth fired all of their nukes into the sun, what would be the reaction?

The first problem would be finding a way to give all those ballistic nukes the ability to achieve escape velocity...

Re:NUKE the SUN! (3, Informative)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060689)

If every country on Earth fired all of their nukes into the sun, what would be the reaction?

The first problem would be finding a way to give all those ballistic nukes the ability to achieve escape velocity...

Then you'd have to deal with the second problem, cancelling each nuke's orbital momentum (around the sun). The people who do the various probes have explained that the most difficult problem was the recent probe that's now orbiting Mercury. Reaching Mercury, or even worse, the sun, requires dumping most of the momentum that your craft inherits from the Earth, and doing that directly takes a huge amount of fuel. The current Mercury orbiter took several years to get there, because they saved fuel by using the orbital "slingshot" approach of making numerous passes past other planets (mostly Earth and Mercury) in such a way that those planets "stole" momentum from the probe. The math for this is a bit tricky, and I'm not about to try posting it here. (But google can find it for you, if you're interested. ;-)

If you want to get rid of all our nukes, a far better approach would be to extract the fissile material and recycle it as power-plant rods. That would also have the benefit of converting part of it into valuable isotopes for medical and scientific uses.

OTOH, if you really wanted to waste it by tossing it into the sun, the sun wouldn't even notice such a trivial amount of added matter. The radioactivity would be trivial compared to what the sun (basically a huge runaway fusion reactor) is producing every second.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (3, Funny)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059277)

If every country on Earth fired all of their nukes into the sun, what would be the reaction?

At a guess, they'd melt before they got anywhere near the surface and not have a chance to detonate properly.

Everybody knows that, to properly nuke the sun, you need a bomb the size of Manhattan* with a giant heat-shield and, for no adequately explored reason, despite decades of experience of getting unmanned space vehicles to nail a target 10 AUs away, a human crew to go space-crazy and jeopardise the mission.

(*the Mh is the traditional US unit for the size of an object in space, although the rest of the world use the proper FFF unit of "milliWales")

Re:NUKE the SUN! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059407)

A sufficient mass of fusionable material launched into the sun, to cause a premature nova, would qualify as "nuking the sun"

Re:NUKE the SUN! (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059595)

That sufficient mass is well in excess of anything that could possibly be manufactured on earth... or anywhere else in the solar system, for that matter.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059819)

No need to manufacture, required material is in number of large asteroids that would only need gentle nudging over sufficient time.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (2)

Titan1080 (1328519) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060175)

You obviously missed the 'or anywhere else in the solar system' part. In simple words that you might understand: 'there isn't enough matter in the solar system to do this'.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060291)

Dude, the Sun is 330000 times the mass of the Earth. It's 1000 times the mass of Jupiter which is 2.5 times more massive than all of the other planets (including Pluto) put together. The Sun wouldn't even notice your gently nudged asteroids.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060767)

Well, if you could convert the mass of all that matter to energy that would probably nuke the sun pretty effectively, but good luck finding some way to do that. The sun already converts hundreds of millions of tons of matter to energy every second, and apparently hasn't blown apart yet.

If you dumped a substantial portion of the sun's mass in iron into the sun that might trigger a supernova relatively soon (I would think the extra mass would increase its gravitational pull, increasing the density of the gas inside, causing it to burn much faster and accelerating the stellar lifecycle, and putting it over the Chandrasekhar limit).

Re:NUKE the SUN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062143)

A sufficient mass of fusionable material launched into the sun, to cause a premature nova, would qualify as "nuking the sun"

If you're adding fusionable material, it will extend the life of the star, not shorten it. The amount of mass does not determine when a star will go nova, rather it's the ratio between the different types of materials which determines the timing. The total amount of mass only really determines what happens to it after nova- if there's enough mass it'll be a black hole, for example.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059569)

I agree, that movie sucked.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059587)

At a guess, they'd melt before they got anywhere near the surface and not have a chance to detonate properly.

Everybody knows that, to properly nuke the sun,

...you need to do it at night.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (5, Informative)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059457)

A one megaton thermonuclear weapon converts 47 grams of matter into energy. The combined nuclear arsenal of the Earth, 13,000 megatons, would convert 611,000 grams or 611 kg. or 0.611 metric tons of matter into energy. The Sun converts 400 million metric tons of matter into energy each second, thus the expression "gnat's fart in a hurricane" comes to mind.

Sun 100 times less powerful (4, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061297)

The sun might be big but it does not generate that kind of energy - its energy output is about 100 times smaller than your number at 5 million tons of mass per second converted to energy which it gets from the 700 million tons of hydrogen it fuses into helium every second.

Re:NUKE the SUN! (-1, Offtopic)

juliannarobert (2588995) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062099)

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Re:NUKE the SUN! (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060253)

The Sun might give a small polite belch. Honestly the whole Earth could drop into the Sun and it wouldn't cause a huge (for the Sun) reaction. The Sun's mass is 330,000 times the mass of the Earth. That's like dropping an ounce of water into 10 tons of it.

Tonight? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059117)

Solar eclipse during night time? Now, this is literally fantastic (i.e. pertaining to fantasy).

Re:Tonight? (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059303)

Well, if you want to be pedantic...
Atmospheric refraction can make the disc of the Sun visible even when the Sun is below the horizon. Thus, if a solar eclipse were visible just above the horizon at sunset (as it will be in some parts of North America), it would technically be visible at night.

Re:Tonight? (1)

kubernet3s (1954672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059579)

tonight != night time, though yes it was very occicentric of him to ignore the fact that it will be "tonight" only for those in the western hemisphere, and "tomorrow" for those in the east. But given that most of slashdot's readership is America or Europe, I feel that this is a forgiveable oversight

Re:Tonight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060819)

Indeed, we had our eclipse here in China and it's apparently moving the opposite way that I was expecting it to over to the US ultimately. I happened to know that it was coming this morning otherwise the story would have been too late to prepare.

Re:Tonight? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060753)

Solar eclipse during night time? Now, this is literally fantastic ...

How so? Every eclipse (solar or lunar) happens when it's night for half of the Earth. I watched this eclipse (via two live Internet feeds) when it was completely dark outside here in Boston.

In a similar vein, I've on several occasions amazed people by pointing out the moon that was visible in the daytime sky. It's curious that some people don't notice this until you trick them into looking at it.

That's why it is rare (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061411)

Solar eclipse during night time? Now, this is literally fantastic (i.e. pertaining to fantasy).

Check the article title: now you know why it is a _rare_ annular eclipse...normal annular solar eclipses are almost annual too (not quite but once every 1-3 years).

Re:That's why it is rare (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062407)

Solar eclipse during night time? Now, this is literally fantastic (i.e. pertaining to fantasy).

Check the article title: now you know why it is a _rare_ annular eclipse...normal annular solar eclipses are almost annual too (not quite but once every 1-3 years).

A matter of terminology: to me, on Earth surface, night time is when the Sun is totally "eclipsed" by the Earth (the way I noticed, it happens every day). As such a "Sun eclipsed by Moon" - annular or not - cannot be observed during night time.

Sucks to be me (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059125)

We would have had a good view of it where I am, in Vancouver Canada, seeing as much as 80% coverage, but it's raining, and the forecast for today shows that it's going to stay overcast for the next couple of days.

I even managed to secure some special solar filter glasses especially for the occasion, and I won't get to actually see it.

Sometimes I hate living here.

Next one in my area, afaik, is in 2017... hopefully it won't be raining then as well, but knowing Vancouver, it's anybody's guess.

Re:Sucks to be me (1)

brentrad (1013501) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059311)

Was really looking forward to seeing it, but I'm in the Portland Oregon area and the cloud cover is 100%, and it's raining off and on. Figures - it was 70 degrees and sunny yesterday. :(

Re:Sucks to be me (1)

keytoe (91531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059905)

It's been 70+ and sunny for two weeks. An amazing event rolls in and BAM - cloudy. Ah, the northwest...

Re:Sucks to be me (1)

Ford Prefect (8777) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060963)

How to tell if there's a partial solar eclipse occurring in Seattle: the weather looks even greyer than usual.

(It looked a bit dark out gone 6pm, the sun being completely hidden by clouds rather than just the moon. I think it got a bit brighter again afterwards, although that might have been wishful thinking.)

The August 21st, 2017 eclipse [wikipedia.org] has a big long smear of totality across the northern USA. Seriously, drop whatever you're doing and go and see it. I saw the August 11th, 1999 eclipse [wikipedia.org] from a patch of woodland somewhere on the French-Belgian border, and despite heavy cloud it was an amazing experience. The whole thing about birds going into trees to roost? Absolutely true. I've yet to decide where to go to see the 2017 eclipse, but it's going to be somewhere cloudless and definitely non-Belgian.

Save the glasses for June 5th (4, Informative)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060167)

The transit of venus will be visible from most of North America (assuming no weather issues):

Unfortunately, the NASA eclipse website's taking a hammering today, but this should be the map (try the link tomorrow)

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/tran/TOV2012-Fig01.pdf [nasa.gov]

And there's an official gathering near you, too:

http://venustransit.gsfc.nasa.gov/events/viewapprovedevent/id/212 [nasa.gov]

For the transit times & path from your area, see:

http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/where-when/local-transit-times/ [transitofvenus.nl]

Re:Sucks to be me (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060281)

I'm just on the other side of the river from you and I feel your pain. This is *litterally* not only the first rain we've had since Tuesday, but we've barely even had a clowd in the sky. Today I can't even tell which *direction* the fucking sun is in!

Re:Sucks to be me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060569)

Even being east of the Cascades didn't help. Socked over solid.

Serious bummer. :-(

OMG! (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059133)

There's an eclipse tonight? It's the first I hear about it!

Re:OMG! (4, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059309)

The media was trying to obscure the event, but we saw the light anyway as details seeped out the periphery.

Anyone got times by location? (-1, Flamebait)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059139)

Fucking retards prepared a "handy" list of times by north american city, and published it as a PDF. Now their webserver has fallen over trying to serve that PDF.

Any other sources?

FUCK PDF

Re:Anyone got times by location? (1)

0WaitState (231806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059171)

This article gives information for many cities (scroll down past the maps for the text listing):

eclipse times by city [latimes.com]

Re:Anyone got times by location? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059187)

Ever heard of this thing called the internet?

Re:Anyone got times by location? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059205)

Yes, I have heard of the internet, and the internet I know works better when not clogged with PDF. PDF has about a 1000 to 1 ratio of overhead to content.

Re:Anyone got times by location? (3, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059247)

The server slowdown should be over tomorrow. Please check back then.

... ITS NAME, NOT IT'S NAME !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059173)

Internet dummies get this 99% of the time. If it weren't for cool cats like myself, that would be 100%. What. A. Bunch. Of. Idiots. !!

SEATTLE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40059203)

Like it's inevitable, it's raining here in Seattle. Dumb #Q$@#

Make a pinhole viewer. (3, Informative)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059415)

You can't view it directly (at least not if you want your eyes to keep working) but you can make a pinhole viewer with minimal supplies and tools.

Lots of options for variation, but I did this: Cut a postage-stamp sized hole in a cereal box (or something suitably opaque). Cut a small square of aluminum foil (scavenged from your tinfoil hat, if necessary) and tape it over the hole. Then use a pin to make the smallest hole possible in the foil.

Hold the cardboard w/ pinhole up orthogonal to the sun, and project the pinhole image onto a white card.

You'll see a tiny (reversed) image of the sun in the form of a small circle, and as the moon occludes it, you'll see it clearly.

Re:Make a pinhole viewer. (1)

qvatch (576224) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059889)

the longer your box the larger magnification you get, but the harder it is to align correctly. Thus you want a long and wide box.

Re:Make a pinhole viewer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060529)

I know it's a little late for most of y'all, but the easiest way is if you have a window (I do!!!) that faces the right direction. Cover the window in foil, with a single tiny hole punched in it. I got to watch a nice clear image crawl across the opposite wall of my house, while drinking Bailey's. A lovely if surreal evening.

(BTW, the smaller and more perfectly round the hole, the more cleanly defined the image. Bigger hole != better image, just a blurrier one.)

Mmm... Bailey's...

Quite nice from Osaka this morning (1)

yesterdaystomorrow (1766850) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059463)

Some broken clouds, but they weren't much of a problem.

Re:Quite nice from Osaka this morning (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059583)

I'm near Seattle. Our clouds are intact.

Re:Quite nice from Osaka this morning (1)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060187)

Yup, good here in Okinawa as well. I snapped about 350 pics. Can't wait to get home from work and get to processing them...

Re:Quite nice from Osaka this morning (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060209)

From my perspective, the clouds helped. Since there were clouds it was possible to take pictures of the eclipse without a filter. At times it wasn't even possible to view the eclipse with the filter.

There are a good number of pictures on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=solar+eclipse&ss=2&s=rec [flickr.com]

Re:Quite nice from Osaka this morning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060589)

I'm also near Osaka. I tried watching it too, but the moon got in the way.

Rare? (3, Informative)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059491)

Annular eclipses occur every 15 months on average.

NASA have a lot of solar eclipse stats [nasa.gov] for anyone interested.

Really pissed I didn't know about this earlier (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#40059947)

The full eclipse line I found showed it to be about 10 hours drive from me. I would've gone had I been able to plan for it.

Re:Really pissed I didn't know about this earlier (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061201)

Here's a picture of it from Los Angeles: http://t.co/mwYNgArz [t.co]

It wasn't that impressive honestly.

Wish I had a pair of binoculars.. (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060201)

Am in Las Vegas, and was going to drive up to the center of the path to get the full effect. I decided not to waste the gas (a 240 mile round trip), and just discovered that I'm not going to miss all that much.. The NASA page with percentages of totality showed that where I was going (Zion National Park) was 96% coverage and simply staying here in Las Vegas, I get 92%.... Don't have any welders goggles, so I'm using the old "two cardboard pieces with a pinhole in one".. Went out about 15 min ago and sure enough, theres a little munch out of the sun.. Its 6pm now and our max is reached at about 6:35 per the chart..

The eclipse is tonight? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060407)

"The Northern-Pacific "Ring of Fire" has an opportunity tonight to observe an entirely different "ring of fire": an annular solar eclipse

Observe a solar eclipse at night? Yes, I should think that that would be a very rare event!

-JS

MY EYES!!! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060453)

It's pretty cool, though. :-) The moon is passing through, say, upper two-thirds of the sun sideways. Cloudless sky, but the light is dimmed like it was overcast.

Birds are going apeshit. Rats are fleeing down the storm drains. Insects are doing synchro dance in the air. It's possible I'm lying.

Tjamls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060511)

Tjamls a ;py. s'asjdpt! O troed tp ;ppl at ot amd mpw O
m b;omf om ,u rogjt eue!!! Upi ficlers!!!

Eclipse in LV, NV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060555)

From my perspective in Las Vegas, NV we had a sad face through our pin hole board. Never got total, :( would of had to be in Cedar City or on that lattitude. Fun stuff though I will say that you guys might've noticed the trees made some interesting shapes through their leaves as the moon passed by.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/576/20120520184642.jpg/

night? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40060635)

Solar eclipse happens every night.

Pics from New Mexico (2)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40060737)

Here's my pics of the eclipse [tumblr.com] , as the sun set past the Sandia Mountains.

"News for Nerds" indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061081)

Posted by timothy on Sunday May 20, @05:32PM

Eclipse start time: 4:56PM Eastern [timeanddate.com]

Congratulations Slashdot. You've taken an astronomical phenomenon predicted decades in advance, which last occurred in the U.S. 18 years ago, and informed your membership of it a half hour after it began. But hey, we learned immediately that Zuckerberg got married; that's what's important to nerds, right?

Re:"News for Nerds" indeed (1)

Dahan (130247) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061205)

No idea where you got that link from, but as the Fine Article says, the eclipse actually "begins at 6:36 p.m. EDT (2236 GMT) in southern China." And it takes some time for it to move eastward from there to the US; it didn't start where I am until some time around 7:00pm CDT (8:00pm EDT). While I didn't depend on /. to tell me about the eclipse, if I did, I would've been informed in time.

Perfect ending for Maker Faire... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40061451)

This was a perfect ending for the Maker Faire in San Mateo today -- we're loading out after a great weekend, and look up to see a monster eating the Sun.

How are we going to beat that at next year's Faire?

an eclipse at night? (1)

alonsoac (180192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061633)

The title sure looks strange. I guess for some people the event would occur at their night, but the important people today are the ones who are in daylight at the time and can see it and send photos for the rest of the world to see. Probably some of them are also slasdotters and will also wonder about the eclipse "tonight" article.

Video: Eclipsed Sun setting over Colorado Rockies (2)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 2 years ago | (#40061665)

Tough viewing conditions in the Republic of Boulder, Colorado as lots of clouds - check out this image showing a lotta crud between me and the sun. [komar.org]

I was hoping to catch a time-lapse of the partially eclipsed sun setting over Longs Peak and it re-appeared literally at the last minute ... if I had been just a little bit farther South, I probably would have been totally skunked. Plus we weren't in totality, so never got the ring-o-fire. But still very cool to watch and here's my time-lapse video. [komar.org]

BTW, since I didn't have an ND filter, mine was total makeshift ... cut out one of the "eyepieces" from my Son's Eclipse Glasses and wedged that into the 2xTC teleconvertor! ;-)

The curse of the east coast!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063061)

It has strikes again!

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