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eclipse

A boy wears special glasses to view the eclipse
Adam Fagen / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Grand Valley State University's Regional Math and Science Center is collecting eclipse glasses for a 2019 total solar eclipse that will be visible from the Pacific Ocean to parts of South America.

The Holland Sentinel reports that glasses used to view the sun during the August 21 eclipse over a long stretch of the United States will be sent to schools in South America and Asia through Astronomers Without Borders.

Courtesy of Romeo Durscher / NASA

It is indeed dark during the day as a total solar eclipse makes its way from Oregon to South Carolina.

Fourteen states are in the path of total darkness.

Follow the astronomical phenomenon's journey across America along with NPR journalists and others experiencing the eclipse.

Our live blog will start at around 10 a.m. and end around 3 p.m.

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Katie Park and Leanne Abraham/NPR / Source: NASA

The excitement has been building for weeks and weeks. On Monday, August 21st the solar eclipse will finally be here. It will darken the skies along a path from Oregon to South Carolina. It's the first eclipse that will be seen from coast to coast in 99 years. Millions will don special glasses or watch through pinhole projectors. Eclipse enthusiasts say totality never disappoints.

Follow this live updating map tracking the position of the eclipse across the United States. The map will be live starting around 10 a.m. and end around 3 p.m.

Image of the partial solar eclipse on October 23, 2014. The darkened spots on the sun are "sun spots," regions of cooler surface temperature.
Ron Moubry

If you (somehow) haven’t heard, there’s a solar eclipse happening next week that will be visible from coast to coast.

On Monday, Aug. 21, observers in some parts of the country will experience a total solar eclipse. It’s the first time in 99 years that a total solar eclipse will be visible to people along a narrow “path of totality” stretching from the Pacific Northwest to the Atlantic coast, from Oregon to South Carolina.

user earl53 / MorgueFile.com

Get your binoculars ready! A full moon, an eclipse, and a comet will all be passing through the night sky late Friday night and early Saturday morning. 

A "penumbral" eclipse isn't a full lunar eclipse, and is more subtle, but still visible to the human eye. It occurs when the moon moves through the outer part of the Earth's shadow. In North America, this will be most visible at moonrise, at 7:43 p.m.

A Blood Moon visible during a total lunar eclipse.
Nasa.gov

Early tomorrow morning, a total lunar eclipse, or "blood moon," will grace the skies of much of Michigan. The eclipse itself will span several hours, though total lunar coverage, in which the moon takes on a reddish hue, will last only about five minutes. 

Lunar eclipses occur when the earth slides between the sun and moon, obstructing the light that normally illuminates our moon.  For those viewing from Michigan, the eclipse will start at 5:00 am, with peak lunar coverage occurring at around 7:00 am. 

The eclipse is happening now. You can watch it online here, or better yet. Go outside and look!

One of our Facebook fans, Ben Wojdyla, reminds us that a big event is yet to come:

If you're vigilant, you can catch the selenelion, a rare celestial occurrence wherein a lunar eclipse and the rising sun can be observed simultaneously. Should occur between 7:30 and 7:45.

Here are the photos being shared on Twitter:

John Cudworth / Creative Commons

Star gazers in Michigan are preparing for a rare occasion Tuesday night when the path of the planet Venus can be seen crossing the sun.

The event is known as the transit of Venus and it only happens, in pairs, every hundred years or so. The next transit of Venus isn’t for another 100 years.

I stumbled across the transit while gulping down an awesome new beer at one of my favorite spots in Benton Harbor, The Livery Microbrewery.

I chose a Venusian Ale for the ingredients. I’m a sucker for “Michigan made” so the blend of “Michigan Red Wheat malts meet all Northern Michigan hops and 60# of Dark Michigan Honey” was right down my alley. Then co-owner Leslie Pickell told me all about the beer made especially for their transit of Venus viewing party – complete with an awesome art show inspired by the transit AND a keg-time-capsule for the people alive during the next transit. 

Once I started looking around, I discovered dozens of viewing parties across the state. Here's a short list:

Winter solstice 2005
Tom Goskar - Flickr

I was hoping to get to this post sooner, but the day just got away from me.

Today seemed unusually short. That's because it IS the shortest day of the year.

And soon, very soon, the days in the northern hemisphere will start to get longer.

Lunar eclipse tonight

Dec 20, 2010
Lunar eclipse
D'Arcy Norman - wikimedia commons user

Update December 21st, 2:00 a.m.:

Well, I woke up... the Earth's shadow is passing over the moon right now. NASA says it'll be in full eclipse starting at 2:41 a.m. and then the shadow will start slipping off the moon at 3:53 a.m.

Welcome to the shortest day of the year! Now... time for bed.

December 20th, 1:12 p.m.

It's not as special as a solar eclipse, which happens in one spot (say in Detroit, MI) around once every several hundred years, but a lunar eclipse is still pretty cool. Even if it does happen around twice a year.