Humans have been paying attention to eclipses for more than five thousand years, according to NASA.
Petroglyphs in Ireland, clay tablets from Babylon and even ancient Chinese writings all point to solar eclipses. One passage translates in English to “the Sun and Moon did not meet harmoniously.”
On Monday, Aug. 21, Americans will witness the phenomenon of a solar eclipse. Although the total eclipse will only be visible from 14 states, a partial eclipse will be visible from rest of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. It has been named the “Great American Eclipse.”
A partial eclipse will also be visible in the Copper Corridor.
Local astronomer, Mike Weasner, is heading to Kentucky to witness and photograph the total eclipse. Weasner is a member of the Dark Skies Committee at Oracle State Park. He has been looking at the stars since he was just a young boy. In recent years, he has explored and tested ways of photographing the stars including using his iPhone.
Weasner will share a Powerpoint presentation in the living room of the Kannally Ranch House on Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at 5:30 p.m. He will offer a slide show report on his solar eclipse experiences as part of an August Sky and Telescope Tour.
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun. On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will occur and be visible along a band crossing the United States; first seen from land in the US at Oregon’s Pacific coast, and then it will progress eastward along a path through many states and finally passing offshore in South Carolina. (Oracle will see a partial eclipse with the Sun covered about 60%. Consequently proper and safe solar protection will be required to view/photograph the partial eclipse phase in Arizona.)
A Star Party will follow the program, 7-9 p.m., with telescope viewing and night sky interpretation, thanks to Tucson Amateur Astronomers Association.
No reservation is needed for the star party; however, please call at 520-896-2425 for a reservation for the 5:30 p.m program. The program and party are free with park admission.
For more information on the eclipse, click here.
If you are interested in Weasner’s iPhone astrophotography, click here.