David Levy's Guide to Eclipses, Transits, and Occultations by David H. Levy

By David H. Levy

During this basic advisor, David Levy evokes readers to adventure the beauty of eclipses and different brief astronomical occasions for themselves. overlaying either sun and lunar eclipses, he provides step by step directions on the best way to become aware of and photo eclipses. in addition to explaining the technological know-how at the back of eclipses, the publication additionally provides their historic heritage, discussing how they have been saw some time past and what we've discovered from them. This own account includes examples from the seventy seven eclipses the writer has witnessed himself. The consultant additionally comprises chapters on occultations of stars and planets through the Moon and of asteroids by means of stars, and the transits of Mercury and Venus. Tables of destiny eclipses make this worthy for an individual, from newbies to practised observers, desirous to study extra approximately those attention-grabbing occasions.

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On that day, I learned that there would be a very brief full eclipse, with a flash of totality lasting about two seconds. I never forgot reading about that eclipse, even until the actual dawn of February 3, 1986. On that morning I drove quickly the 100 miles from my home southeast of Tucson to the ghost town of Steins, New Mexico, because I knew that on that day a brief total eclipse would be taking place near Iceland. Whatever do freezing Iceland and sunbaked Steins have in common? Just that both would be under the shadow of the Moon that day, only Steins would get just a nick of the outermost part of the penumbral part of the Moon’s shadow for about 20 minutes.

If a volcano erupts in the months preceding a lunar eclipse, the dust it sends into the Earth’s atmosphere makes the shadow darker. On December 30, 1963, the shadow was unbelievably dense. The eclipse also took place during one of the coldest nights I had ever seen, but we observed from the second storey of my parents’ home. As the partial phases began in the predawn hours of December 30, 1963, the Moon seemed to vanish. At totality the Moon simply disappeared. It might have been the darkest lunar eclipse since 1601.

Informally called Wendee’s Ring, it is an asterism of unrelated stars discovered on January 2, 2000, by Wendee and David Levy. Photograph by David Levy. Astronomers have conducted more advanced studies of Earth’s ionosphere and thermosphere using “incoherent scatter” radar observations. 2 The Millstone Hill Observatory uses the radar to measure the Earth’s ionosphere. As recently as the annular eclipse of September 23, 1987 through Japan, I. Sato and M. Soma continued their long-term study to see if the diameter of the Sun changes ever so slightly over the years.

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