I hope everyone got to see the total lunar eclipse on the 8th. I forgot to send out an alert but it was highly promoted on TV news shows. We were in Atlanta so I only had a 150 mm telephoto lens which made the moon’s image much smaller than I would have liked. We had some low clouds in the west which washed out the moon just after totality. The image below was just before totality when the moon was very reddish due to the refracted light shining from the sun, through the Earth’s atmosphere and reflecting from the moon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The big event eclipse wise will be the partial solar eclipsed the afternoon of the 23rd. The action begins around 6:00 PM but the sun will set just before the maximum occurs. It will only get to about 30% of totallity but still definitely a must-see event. The best views at Balsam will probably be at the eastern heli-pad at Preserve and Stemwinder. Long range weather forecast is for clear skies. I will bring a telescope and solar filters if anyone wants to join us. Please remember that unlike a lunar eclipse a solar eclipse is NOT SAFE TO VIEW WITH THE NAKED EYE! You must use a solar filter or pinhole camera (lots of instructions on the Internet) or you can DAMAGE YOUR EYES! See the link below for specific times and what you will see.

http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/asheville

 

Jim Stratigos – Resident Astronomer