Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Moon Visits Ecliptic for a Month

While we're waiting for the partial solar eclipse on June 1, an interesting phenomena will occur in one month, starting on, June 1 and ending July 1. The moon will orbit, passing the ecliptic plane (where eclipses can only occur) three times, crossing the nodes designated for eclipses to occur. "To be exact, the moon is just five degrees off the ecliptic. That is one reason why eclipses happen so often." Matthew Winter writes in  Astronomical Events: Eclipses, Transits, Occultations, and Conjunctions. 

The moon will pass a node on June 1, giving the polar regions a partial eclipse to remember. Then, when the moon is totally full on the 15 (of June), a total lunar eclipse will be viewed from Asia, Africa, and Europe. Finishing up, July 1 gives another partial solar eclipse, but to Antarctica. This will be the eclipse 'nobody will see!' 

Seven is number of the TOTAL number of eclipses that can take place in a year (if Saros allows it!), six will occur this year; take note each is from its own Saros. Its not that often three eclipses happen in one month, so expect a great month starting tomorrow (June 1). 

Other eclipses of this year: 
Partial Solar Eclipse of 2011 Jan 04 Partial Solar Eclipse of 2011 Jun 01 Total Lunar Eclipse of 2011 Jun 15

Partial Solar Eclipse of 2011 Jul 01Partial Solar Eclipse of 2011 Nov 25Total Lunar Eclipse of 2011 Dec 10

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