Sky's Up July-September 2017 - Page 2

Sky ’ s Up inside March 2006 total solar eclipse as seen from the Aegean Sea Rising star Science enthusiast finds ideal outlet in outreach — Page 10 V ol . 07 — J uly -S eptember 2017 Published by the AstronomyOutreach network Founded in 2000, the AstronomyOutreach network (AOn) was created to encourage and celebrate public outreach efforts by astronomers of all levels. This non-profit organization has tasked itself with forging connections between individual astronomers, astronomy clubs and larger astronomy and space education initiatives. Board of Directors: Director: Scott W. Roberts Editorial Staff: Senior Editor: David H. Levy Project Manager: Patricia Smith © AstronomyOutreach network Duplication of contents in full or part is prohibited unless prior authorization by AstronomyOutreach network has been obtained. Unless an advertisement in the publication contains a specific endorsement by AstronomyOutreach network, it has not been tested by, approved by or endorsed by AOn. AstronomyOutreach network 1010 S. 48th Street Springdale, AR 72762 Phone: 949-637-9075 email: o o o Sky’s Up digital magazine is made possible through a generous contribution from Explore Scientific. on the cover 10 Questions JPL’s Steve Edberg shines a light on our favorite star Experience totality! — Page 14 It’s time to align! Get ready for the Moon’s shadow to make an epic coast-to-coast road trip — Page 24 A sensory feast There’s more to totality than what is happening in the sky — Page 36 The STEM zone Learn to build a personal eclipse viewer & make an Earth-Moon system model — Page 40 Explore Scientific staffers and their families take a mid-day break to get a glimpse at the Sun through the company’s safe solar- filtered Sun Catcher viewing glasses. 2 What’s Up in the Sky.............Pg. 4 On the Horizon......................Pg. 5 Constellation Corner.............Pg. 6 The STEM Zone....................Pg. 40 On the Road........................Pg. 46 Meet the Moon...................Pg. 48 The Art of Astronomy..........Pg. 54 Lunar Calendar....................Pg. 58 Seasonal Sky Calendars.......Pg. 59 Parting Shot.........................Pg. 68 Sky ’ s Up Welcome to the A David summer issue of Sky’s Up, a special Levy Sky issue concentrating on the forthcoming total eclipse of the Sun. Most people have never seen a total eclipse, but I rather suspect that some of you have seen a partial eclipse, by David even a deep one Levy during which the Sun slowly becomes a thin crescent. Is there a difference between a deep partial eclipse, even a 99 percent eclipse, and one that is total? Indeed yes, a great big one. All the difference in the world, in fact. If the eclipse is almost total, like 99 percent, the Sun will become that thin crescent, even perhaps a crescent reduced to a line of sunlight, and you may even see the dark shadow of the Moon approach from the west. As the shadow rushes by, the line will shift rapidly around the Sun, then expand again into a crescent and finally the full Sun we know. If the eclipse is total, then the dark shadow passes right over you. The line of sunlight shrinks to a series of spots, called Bailey’s Beads — named after Francis Bailey who first saw them during the eclipse of 1836. Within a few seconds all but one of the beads shrinks, starbursts and disappears. That one point of light is all that’s left of the Sun. It is not surprising that we call that the diamond ring. At the same instant, the sun’s corona—the outer atmosphere of the Sun — bursts forth. The only time we can ever see the corona is during a total eclipse of the Sun. The total eclipse of May 17, 1882, offered something extra. There was a beautiful corona, plus a bright streak that was almost certainly a comet! Informally named Tewfik, this comet just happened to be rounding the Sun at the moment of totality and was COURTESY OF David Levy observed then. It was never seen again. This issue offers articles and photographs that will help you observe this eclipse and photograph it. However, especially if you have never seen an eclipse before, please heed this advice: At the moment of total eclipse, please put your camera down, and look up. The moment of totality is the only time it is safe to look at the Sun without any eye protection. It also offers all of us the chance to stare in wonder at one of Nature’s most thrilling spectacles. Over decades of observing, David Levy has discovered or co-discovered a total of 23 comets. His prolific record includes the joint discovery of Shoemaker-Levy 9, which quickly went on to dramatically crash into Jupiter in 1994, and the individual discoveries of two periodic comets – P/1991 L3 and P/2006T1 – through his backyard telescope. In 2010, Levy became the first person to have discovered comets in three ways - visually, photographically and electronically. Beyond his observation achievements, Levy has authored, edited or contributed to more than 30 books and has periodically provided articles for publications like Sky & Telescope and Parade Magazine. Sky ’ s Up 3