Archive for the ‘star watching’ Category

AccuWeather: Best Viewing for Rare Super Blue Moon Eclipse will be in Eastern, South-Central US

January 30, 2018

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By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com

AccuWeather Global Headquarters – January 30, 2017 – North America will be treated to a blue moon, supermoon and a lunar eclipse all at once during the early morning hours of Wednesday. AccuWeather reports the weather should not interfere with sky gazers across the eastern and south-central United States hoping to view the celestial event that has not happened in more than 150 years.

“These three lunar events separately are not uncommon, but it is rare for all three to occur at the same time,” AccuWeather Meteorologist and Astronomy Blogger Brian Lada said.

Lada stated that the last time all three events lined up for North America was on March 31, 1866.

“People all across North America will be able to see the moon light up the night sky, as long as clouds do not interfere, but only those in the central and western parts of the continent will be able to see a total lunar eclipse,” he stated.

The eclipse will enter its total phase after the moon has set along the East Coast of the U.S.

Despite only being treated to a partial lunar eclipse around dawn, most of the eastern U.S. will not have to worry about clouds blocking the show.

This includes in the major cities of New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Raleigh, North Carolina, and Atlanta.

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Sky gazers will definitely want to bundle up when going outdoors to view the eclipse, along with heading to work or school.

Temperatures early Wednesday morning will range from the single digits F in northern New England to the teens and 20s in the mid-Atlantic to the upper 20s and lower 30s across most of Georgia and Alabama.

Jacksonville, Orlando and Miami will join other communities across the Florida Peninsula in dealing with some clouds streaming in from the Atlantic Ocean.

Memphis, Tennessee; Little Rock, Arkansas; Shreveport, Louisiana; Dallas and Oklahoma City will enjoy both a clear sky and the total lunar eclipse.

Temperatures will drop to near freezing by the start of the eclipse along the Mississippi River but will be held to the lower 40s along the I-35 corridor in the South Central states.

Farther to the south, low-hanging clouds may develop over Brownsville and San Antonio, Texas, and spoil the show.

Clouds will also make the eclipse difficult to view across a large part of the northern tier from the Midwest to the Northwest. That is not good news for residents in Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland, Oregon.

There may be a pocket of clearer conditions that unfolds around the Dakotas.

While a thick blanket of clouds totally ruining the show is not expected, there may be enough clouds to prevent those in the Southwest from having a clear view of the entire eclipse.

The deserts, including Phoenix, may be lucky and enjoy a clearer sky than the rest of the Southwest.

Those in Alaska and Hawaii will also be able to view the entire eclipse, depending on the weather.

Conditions will be better to view the eclipse in Hilo than Honolulu as clouds and showers will dominate the western Hawaiian islands.

Most of Alaska, including Anchorage, will be clear during the eclipse but enduring frigid air.

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While the moon will appear its normal color through most of the night, Lada stated that it will turn a rusty orange or red color during the predawn hours of Jan. 31 as it passes into the Earth’s shadow.

“Unlike a total solar eclipse which lasts only minutes, this will last for several hours,” Lada said.

For those who miss out on this eclipse or cannot wait for another, the next total eclipse viewable across all of the U.S. and North America will occur on the night of Jan. 20, 2019.

“This lunar eclipse will also occur during a full supermoon, making the blood moon appear larger than the average lunar eclipse,” Lada said.

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Fireballs to Flash in November Night Sky as Taurid Meteor Shower Peak

November 5, 2015

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By Brian Lada, Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com 

AccuWeather Global Weather Center – AccuWeather reports cosmic fireballs will occasionally light up the night sky as the Taurid meteor shower approaches its peak into next week.

“Every year, the Earth passes through a stream left by Comet Encke, producing the Taurid Meteor Shower,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel said.

“This shower is notorious for producing fireballs, and there are signs that this could be a year of enhanced activity,” Samuhel added.

Fireballs are extremely bright meteors that last for several seconds and can light up an entire countryside when they are at their brightest.

Unlike other meteor showers thought the year, the peak of the Taurid shower is drawn out, lasting nearly a week.

This year, the peak is expected to occur from Nov. 5 through Nov. 12, but some meteors from the Taurids will continue through the end of the month.

The long peak of the shower means that stargazers will have several opportunities to see the Taurids, and one cloudy night should not prevent people from catching the display.

“Usually the shower only produces 5-10 meteors per hour,” Samuhel said.

The best time for viewing the Taurids may prove to be near the end of the shower’s peak during the new moon.

The new moon will mean that the sky will be darker, making the Taurids appear even brighter as they glide across the night sky.

As for when to look for the Taurids, there is no specific time of the night that will bring more shooting stars than another time of the night.

Whenever it is dark, you’ll have the chance to see some fireballs flash as they streak through the night sky.

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