THE ATLANTIC GEARS UP FOR A RARE HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSE.
Photo Credit: Associated Press: Xiamen in southeastern China’s Fujian province, May 21, 2012. CLICK photo for full size and see below for information lots of links and a short video!
On Sunday, November 3, 2013 a rare hybrid solar eclipse as well as the final eclipse of 2013 will take place. Here’s what you can do to maximize your viewing experience.
To begin with November 3rd is also “Fall-Back” day here in the states so at 0200 EDT on Sunday November 3rd it will “Fall-Back” to 0100 EST. So just know that before you venture out and completely get caught off guard by the time change.
Second, unless you live in the Atlantic Ocean and Middle-Africa you probably won’t catch any of the annular/total solar eclipse as that’s where its path will take it. There are, however; great opportunities to view a partial solar eclipse starting right here on the eastern seaboard of the United States, Canada and South America. Soon after our sunrise partial, the annular portion of the eclipse begins and momentarily after it will transition into a total solar eclipse and then finally phase out in eastern Africa. Let’s take a quick look at the timeline of events. All times are UTC (Universal Time) and with “Fall-Back” EST (Eastern Standard Time) is once again 5hrs behind.
1004 UTC – Partial solar eclipse phase begins. Now through about 30 minutes after sunrise along the east coast a partial solar eclipse will be visible.
11:05:15 UTC – The annular “Ring of Fire” phase of the eclipse begins.
11:05:35 UTC – The annular eclipse quickly transitions into a total solar eclipse. It will remain this way until phase out around 1430.
1246 UTC – Off the S/W coast of Liberia along the coast of Africa the point of greatest eclipse occurs. Its path will be 57 kilometers wide for a total of 1 minute and 40 seconds.
1427 UTC – Total eclipse phases out.
1528 UTC – All partial eclipse events phase out and all becomes normal again.
I know I mentioned that it will be tough to catch any annular or total portions of the eclipse due to its path but as I said, it begins in the west (east coast of the Americas) and as it travels along its path, to the north into Spain, Italy and Africa will see partial solar eclipses. Same goes for the south of its track through much of South America and South Africa. Saudi Arabia, Iran and much of the Middle East will get a great view of a partial eclipse as the event concludes similar to what the east coast was given to start the event.
SO WHAT THE HECK IS A HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSE?!
Well a hybrid eclipse is pretty rare. Over 5000 eclipses are listed from 1999 BC to 3000 AD and only 569 are hybrid solar eclipses; that’s only 4.8%. That information can be found in Fred Espenak’s Five Millennium Catalog of Solar Eclipses….here ya go: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEcat5/SEcatalog.html
A hybrid solar eclipse is a solar eclipse that transitions from one type of total solar eclipse to another. In this case it begins as the Moon is near apogee thus an annular “Ring of Fire” eclipse begins the event before transitioning into a classic total eclipse.
A bit of information you may want to learn more about is the fact that solar eclipses work on cycles. This particular eclipse on November 3rd will be eclipse #23 of 72 eclipses in Saros Series 143. A Saros Cycle is approximately 6,585.3 days (18 years 11 days 8 hours).
Eclipse Maps: All of the maps and Data you could dream of for this event is on this page: http://eclipse-maps.com/Eclipse-Maps/Gallery/Pages/Annular-total_solar_eclipse_of_2013_November_3.html
NASA map and timeline for this event: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEplot/SEplot2001/SE2013Nov03H.GIF
NASA eclipse main site: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html
Time and Date data on this event: http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2013-november-3
Earth Sky page on this event: http://earthsky.org/tonight/solar-eclipse-from-the-americas-to-middle-east-on-november-3
Sky & Telescope page on this event: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/227679011.html
In The Sky page for this event: http://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20131103_11_100
Universe Today page on this event: http://www.universetoday.com/105651/rare-hybrid-solar-eclipse-on-november-3-2013-how-to-see-it/
Great illustration from Eclipse-Maps: