This month we feature Solar eclipses
Depending on the alignment of the Sun, Moon and Earth there can be between 2 and 5 solar eclipses each year.
The longest a total solar eclipse can last is 7 minutes 30 seconds. The last longest total solar eclipse was on 11 July 1991 with a totality of 6 minutes 53 seconds.
The width of the path of totality is usually between 160 km – 269 km across and can sweep across an area of Earth’s surface about 16,000 km long. Last month, on 13 July, there was a partial solar eclipse visible from Tasmania. You can read about Dr Nick Lomb's observations here.
People who chase eclipses are known as umbraphiles. There are many Sydney-siders who follow eclipses and you can read about the last total solar eclipse which swept right across the United States of America as reported by Dr Toner Stevenson here.
The next total solar eclipse is on 2 July 2019 and it is best seen from South America. Several Sydney City Skywatcher members are making plans for an astronomical adventure.
WARNING: NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN.
USE SPECIAL EYE PROTECTION OR INDIRECT VIEWING TECHNIQUES WHEN VIEWING THE SUN.