May 18, 2012

This Weekend With Kids: Solar Eclipse!

Partial Eclipse over the Golden Gate Bridge. From the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection
I was in sixth grade in 1992, living in Southern California where the view of that year's solar eclipse was supposed to be spectacular.

At school, we made pinhole projectors.

But, in the end, there were clouds and disappointment. I don't remember seeing much of anything.

So here's to second chances.

The solar eclipse expected on Sunday will be annular - meaning, the sun won't disappear completely behind the moon; instead, it will darken a portion at the center, leaving a fiery ring of sunlight around its edge.

Stockton isn't on the direct path of the eclipse, the area where that "ring of fire" will be fully visible (you could drive up to Redding or Crescent City to get closer to it).

Still. From where we are, 91 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon. The light will dim just a bit - the air might even feel a little cooler.

According to NASA, the eclipse will begin around 5:20 p.m. in Stockton. The period of "maximum eclipse" will occur around 6:30, with the phenomenon ending about an hour later.

If you want to check it out, remember that you need to take precautions to avoid serious eye damage. Don't look directly at the sun - not even through sunglasses, or through binoculars or unfiltered telescopes. The Stockton Astronomical Society will be holding an observation event, on the west side of Weber Point, featuring some safe eclipse-viewing opportunities.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...