Solar Eclipse: Today, 2 July 2019

There is a solar eclipse happening today, starting at 12:55 pm EDT. Here’s more information.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/solar-eclipse-2019-crowds-chile-argentina-hoping-to-capitalize-today-2019-07-02/

If you’re lucky enough to be in the right place in the middle of the Pacific or in Chile or Argentina, here’s the path of totality.

Eclipse path: July 2, 2019

If you want to watch the eclipse on-line, here’s how to.

https://gadgets.ndtv.com/science/news/solar-eclipse-2019-where-and-how-to-watch-live-total-surya-grahan-south-america-2062907

Or here:

And, here’s a screen cap from the live feed at the moment of totality.

The Avengers in the Stars

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything, although there’s lots of stuff in the works that will hopefully come out soon, when the term is over and I have some time to finish it up.

In the meantime, here’s something quick that falls under “comics” and “the universe” with not so much of the “everything.”

Image result for star walk 2

Many of you may have the App “Star Walk 2” installed on your phone or tablet. It seems that they have added a number of new constellations based on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, probably inspired by some teevee show or movie or something. Who really knows? But now we have some modern mythology among the stars along side its classic siblings.

The new constellations were created by the folks at the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences and are available for free in the “Additional Content” section of the App.

Here a sampling:

There’s lots more to find, including some of the better ones, but I don’t want to spoil all of the fun. And part of the fun is finding the things that seem Marvel themed, but were there all along, such as the constellation Hercules or this one:

Happy Hunting!

2 Reasons to Look To the Skies

I just learned that comet 46p/Wirtanen will make its closest approach to Earth this evening.

The Seven Sisters
The Pleiades

It should be pretty easy to spot; close to the Pleiades, a tiny bit to the south and a bit lower in the sky.

It’s supposed to be magnitude 4 which is kind of bright. It’ll be diffuse, but even if it’s hard to pick out with the naked eye, it should be visible in a half way decent pair of binoculars.

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia about 46p/Wirtanen.  Most comets have orbits that extend into the Oort Cloud, far past the orbit of Neptune.  This comet’s orbit only extends about out to Jupiter.  It will return to our cosmic neighborhood in about five and a half years as opposed to the decades it usually takes with other comets.

With luck, viewing will be better in other areas. I just stepped outside and here the sky is uniformly covered with clouds. I’ll look again later.

In the same section of the night sky, the Geminid Meteor Shower could still be visible. The shower peaked Friday morning. I’ve only had good luck viewing a meteor shower once, but when you’re lucky, you can see things that are pretty spectacular as evidenced by this dash cam video.

Happy stargazing!

References:

https://theconversation.com/we-have-a-christmas-comet-how-to-spot-2018s-interplanetary-bauble-108597

The main image is a screen cap from StarWalk 2 which I annotated with my Apple Pencil.