Ben Goren, who doesn’t believe in Jesus, sent me this email about an annular eclipse next Sunday, May 20, and the possibility that some readers in the area could meet up. I won’t be able to attend (I need to work and recover from my latest travels), but perhaps you can post below if you’re interested, and I’ll furnish you with Ben’s email. An annular eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, blotting out the Sun except for a ring of fire around the Moon’s edge.
You might be aware that there’s going to be an annular eclipse a week from this Sunday, on the 20th. The partial phase of the eclipse will be visible from most of the western half of the country, but the path of annularity will pass over Mt. Shasta, through Nevada, into the Four Corners region, and end (for the most part) in Albuquerque.
The Grand Canyon is not far from the centerline, and will be in the region of annularity. The sun and moon will be low in the horizon near sunset, and still in partial eclipse at sunset. I haven’t checked, but I’m pretty sure this is the only time in the entire history of the hominin family, past or future, that one will be able to see a ring of fire hovering over the Canyon.
I’ll be there to photograph the event. When I mentioned that to David Richards, he decided that this is something worth seeing for himself, so he’ll be joining me. We then realized that there’re a bunch of other WEIT regulars and readers in the Southwest, and figured the right thing to do is to invite them all.
Would you be so kind as to post something to that effect? Preferably sooner rather than later so people can make plans.
The National Park Service will be be hosting an event at the Grand Canyon Village. The view from there should be spectacular, and there will be amateur astronomers there with telescopes and viewing stations and all the rest. Details are here.
I’m pretty sure there’re other spots even better for photographing the eclipse; Dave and I will be scouting those out on Friday and Saturday. We likely won’t be at the Village for the NPS viewing, but we’ll probably make the post-eclipse party the NPS is hosting. We’d also be up for meeting up with WEIT folks in Flagstaff on Friday or Saturday.
Wikipedia has a special article on this eclipse, with an animation of what it will look like from Albequerque—spectacular! There’s also an animation of the path of the shadow. I hope that the weather is good.
For those who go, I expect that the best pictures will be sent to me for posting here.
Here are the kinds of photos that you can get, though I think palms are a bit thin on the ground at the Canyon. This is from Astronomy Picture of the Day, and shows an annular eclipse of Jan. 25, 2009 photographed behind trees: