Total Pageviews


Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2014

There will be four solar and lunar eclipses in 2014. Two of them will be total lunar eclipses as well as one annular and one partial solar eclipse. They will be mostly observable in Asia, North America and Oceania. Sun and Moon eclipses are one of the most breathtaking sights observable in nature, and sometimes there can be seven of them in one year, although the last time this happened was on the year 1982. In 2014 there will be only four eclipses, which is the fewest possible. However, two of them will be total lunar eclipses when the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow and won’t be visible at all.
Unlike solar eclipses, moon eclipses happen during full Moon and can be observed anywhere from Earth where to Moon is above the horizon. Of course, there is also a little luck involved when it comes to cloudiness. Solar eclipses occur only at new Moon, when the Moon’s shadow crosses the Earth’s surface and stands directly between us and the Sun. The Moon is much smaller than Earth, so casts a smaller shadow, which narrows the areas on Earth where the solar eclipse can be seen from.
The reason why eclipses can’t be seen monthly is because every new and full moon the lunar orbit moves about 5 degrees to Earth’s orbital plane. If the Moon’s body is completely hidden because of the Earth casting its shadow on it, the eclipse is considered to be total. This can last from seconds to several minutes and can be observed only from a small area of the Earth’s surface, usually just around 100 miles or 160 kilometers wide. On the other parts of the Earth a partial Moon eclipse can be observed.
April 15th, 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse
(Visible in West Asia, North-East America, parts of South America)
In the early morning of the April 15th, 2014, the first total lunar eclipse in two and half years can be seen. If the skies are clear, the totality of eclipse can be seen in North America and western South America at 7:46 Universal time. The whole lunar eclipse will last for 78 minutes from 5:58 until 9:33 UT. An interesting fact is that this will be the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, which is a quite rare occurrence. The next time this will happen is in 2032.
April 29th, 2013 Annular Solar Eclipse
(Visible in South Asia, Australia, Pacific, Indian Ocean, Antarctica)
Once the full Moon from the lunar eclipse on the 15th of April turns into new Moon, it moves in front of the Sun, creating an annular Solar eclipse. This means that the Moon will stand between the Sun and the Earth. On the 29th of April it will be possible to see the Moon’s silhouette perfectly fitting the Sun’s disk. This is an unusual occurrence, since more often than not annular Solar eclipses usually have an off center ring. This phenomenon will last for only 49 seconds and can be observed only from a small area in Antarctica at around 7:07 UT. The rest of the world can watch the sky for a partial solar eclipse.
October 8th, 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse
(Visible in West Asia, West Australia, parts of North America, South-East America)
The second lunar eclipse in 2014 will also be a total lunar eclipse. The mid-eclipse can be observed at 10:55, which is quite late. If you are watching the sky from Australia or Eastern Asia you will see it shortly after the sunset. The beginning of this total lunar eclipse will be at 9:15UT and the end at 12:34UT.
October 23rd, 2014 Partial Solar Eclipse
(Visible in East Asia, most North America, Pacific, Atlantic)
The second solar eclipse in 2014 will be a partial eclipse on the October 23rd. As seen from the Earth the Moon will partially cover the disk of Sun. At some parts of Northern America and Russia it will be even possible to see the Moon covering four fifths of the Sun’s diameter. The expected start of this eclipse is at 19:38UT and it will last until 23:52UT.
Let’s keep an eye on the sky for lunar and solar eclipses in 2014!

No comments: