There will be a penumbral lunar eclipse this weekend on February 10 or 11 depending on which part of the world you live in.
For studying eclipses, we used to recommend a site called ‘HeyWhatsThat’ but it used the Google Earth API/plugin, which was discontinued last month. Another site by Xavier M. Jubier that offers KMZ files relating to eclipses appears to be no longer being maintained and it does not include a KMZ for this weekend’s lunar eclipse. [ Update 2017-02-10: We were incorrect and Xavier’s website is being maintained. See his message in the comments below including a link to a map and a way to get a KMZ version. ]
The eclipse will be visible from much parts of the world. Image from Wikimedia.
If any of our readers knows of a site that offers eclipse details that can be viewed with Google Earth, please let us know in the comments.
The site timeanddate.com has 2D maps of the eclipse and if you enter your location it can give you exact local times for when to see it.
The community telescope organization Slooh will be broadcasting the eclipse live on their site. As far as we can tell it will be publicly available without having to become a member.
Coinciding with the eclipse is the closest approach of green comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková. Read more about it here.
There will also be a partial solar eclipse on February 26, visible in parts of South America and Southern Africa
This week there will be a total solar eclipse starting in the Indian Ocean, crossing Indonesia then out into the Pacific, ending up North East of Hawaii. A partial eclipse will be visible longitudinally from India to Alaska and latitudinally from China to Australia. An interesting side effect of the fact that it crosses the dateline is that the eclipse starts on March 9th and ends on March 8th.
One of our favourite resources for eclipses is the HeyWhatsThat eclipse page. It depends on the Google Earth plugin, which was set to be shut down last December, but has been kept running by Google so far, and you can still view the HeyWhatThat website with Firefox. You will have to allow the plugin to run.
Another excellent resource is Xavier Jubier’s site, which has this page that has a lot of detailed information about the eclipse and local viewing conditions and this map, which shows the path of the eclipse and a number of viewing locations, including a number of cruise ships and aircraft that appear to be planning to view the eclipse.
If you don’t live in the path of the eclipse then it is possible to view it online. It will be live-streamed by Slooh, a community telescope service. However, to view it you need to sign up as a member. They are currently offering one free month’s membership, but they do seem to require a credit card.
This Sunday, September 27th, 2015 there will be a total eclipse of the Moon known as a ‘Supermoon’ Lunar Eclipse. We have looked at both solar and lunar eclipses many times in the past. One of the best resources for exploring eclipses is the HeyWhatsThat eclipse page, which uses Google Earth plugin. Chrome stopped supporting the Google Earth plugin from the first of September and the latest versions of Internet Explorer don’t seem to support it either. However, it still works in Firefox, although you have to give it permission and then refresh the page. If you also allow it to use your location then it can give you the local time at which the eclipse will take place.
Another site for eclipses is Xavier Jubier’s, which includes an ‘eclipse visibility’ map.
Tomorrow, 4th April 2015, sees the shortest total lunar eclipse of the century, being total for only 4 minutes and 43 seconds. It is the third in a tetrad of eclipses. You can learn more about the tetrad in a video on this page. Just a couple of weeks ago there was a solar eclipse and the same resources that we referred you to can be used with lunar eclipses.
HeyWhatsThat’s eclipse page uses the Google Earth plugin to show you where in the sky the eclipse will take place, based on your location. You will need to tell your browser to allow the Google Earth plugin on the site to make it work.
Xavier Jubier’s site has more information, including a visibility map showing which parts of the globe will be able to see it (The Western USA, across the Pacific, East Asia, Australia and New Zealand).
The Slooh Community Observatory will be broadcasting it live, but you have to be a member or sign up for a free trial to watch it.
This is the twelfth in our series showcasing the Google Earth plugin. This Friday, March 20th, 2015 there will be a total solar eclipse. We have looked at number of eclipses in the past and one of our favourite tools is the HeyWhatsThat website’s eclipse page that makes excellent use of the Google Earth plugin. It features two panes, one showing the expected path of the eclipse on the earth and the other, using Google Sky, shows the current position and path of the Moon across the sky. Remember that most browsers will require you to give the plugin permission to run.
The total eclipse will only be visible along a narrow band north of Scotland, but a partial eclipse should be visible from much of Europe, weather permitting.
Another useful site created by Xavier Jubier has a list of eclipses and corresponding KML files that you can download to view the path of the eclipse in Google Earth. The relevant KML for Friday’s eclipse can be found here