The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Mark Fisher
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Eclipse 2017

Lost in the Stars

 

A screenshot of the local maximum of the solar eclipse animation from Vox.

Once again the path of the moon is going to match up well with the position of the sun in the sky. So we're going to get a solar eclipse. This one will be total for a large strip of the US; but given that the eclipse is a Monday (August 21), many of us won't have the opportunity to head off to someplace where the eclipse is total. (It's only a few hundred miles up to Oregon, for those of you that can!)

Here in Tehachapi we won't be getting a total solar eclipse, but during the eclipse it will get noticeably darker since we're going to have about 66% of the sun covered by the moon. Even that much is dangerous to look at, so if you do take a break (it will be at a maximum about 10:15 a.m. or so) to check out the eclipse, make sure to not look at the sun.

You can see the effects by looking at projections of the sun. Take a couple of index cards and put a pinhole in one. Face away from the sun and put the card with the hole towards the sun and project the image of the sun onto the other card. I'll be doing something similar, I have a telescope ( a cheap one) with an attachment for projecting the image of the sun onto a flat surface.

If you'd like to learn more, and see a couple of cool eclipse animations, check out http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/7/25/16019892/solar-eclipse-2017-interactive-map

Send me an email at mathnerde+loop@gmail.com. Or you can comment on my blog at http://mathnerde.blogspot.com/

 
 

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