Friday, May 10, 2013

Partial Eclipse, Wholly Cloudy

Some of you may have been aware that there was a partial solar eclipse today (the 9th) that was visible only in a fairly narrow swath almost entirely over the Pacific Ocean. Since the Moon was close to apogee when it happened, and thus at its farthest point from Earth, it would not have been a total eclipse from anywhere on the Earth's surface (the Moon would have been too small); however, Hawai‘i was in the path close enough to the mid-line to have gotten about a 30% coverage of the Sun.

Unfortunately, despite the day beginning in bright sunshine, by noon it had clouded over, and by three o’ clock when the eclipse would have been most deep it had actually begun to rain (down in Hilo, though the web cam up at the Visitor Center showed a fair bit of cloud cover as well). So I wasn't able to see it this time, in case you were wondering (for the record, that makes the second partial solar eclipse I've been clouded out for since coming here).

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