Thursday, July 31, 2008



Earlier today, the SOHO spacecraft detected a comet plunging toward the sun and it appears headed for closest approach during Friday's total eclipse. Experienced astronomers in the path of totality may be able to photograph the doomed comet shining like a 5th or 6th magnitude star about 2o from the edge of the eclipsed sun. The Minor Planet Center has just released an ephemeris for the comet, newly named C/2008 O1 (SOHO).


Consider it an overture. This morning in Iran, Mohamad Soltanolkottabi photographed the Moon tantilizingly close to the rising sun. "I went to Naghsh-e Jahan Square and took this picture in front of the Sheykh Lutfullah Mosque," he says.

Less than 24 hours from now, the sun and Moon will meet, converging to produce a solar eclipse. The narrow path of totality stretches from arctic Canada, across Greenland and Siberia, to millions of waiting eyes in populous China. NASA TV will broadcast the event beginning Friday, August 1st, at 6 am EDT. Don't miss it!

RPT-FACTBOX-Solar eclipses, history and science
Reuters - 27 minutes ago
Aug 1 (Reuters) - The moon will block the sun across a swathe of Russia, Mongolia and northwestern China just before sunset on Aug. 1, launching a momentous ...
Sun and Moon set to put on show
BBC News, UK - 4 hours ago
A dark shadow will sweep across the surface of the planet in a broad arc as the Moon passes directly between the Earth and our star. ...
Watch the eclipse online
MSNBC - 5 hours ago
There's nothing like seeing a total solar eclipse with your own eyes - but if you just couldn't make it to Friday's remote totality zone, you have at least ...
Solar Eclipses
National Geographic, DC - 5 hours ago
July 31, 2008—The sun's usually unseen outer atmosphere, the corona, blazes in the South African sky during a total solar eclipse on December 4, 2002. ...
Eclipse-Watchers Worldwide Gear Up for Friday's Event
FOXNews - 9 hours ago
By Robert Roy Britt A total eclipse of the sun Friday should fascinate millions of lucky skywatchers in Greenland, Siberia, Mongolia and China. ...
Rare solar eclipse set to begin in far northern skies
The Tech Herald, IN - 2 hours ago
by Rich Bowden - Jul 31 2008, 23:41 One of the most spectacular events in our skies, a solar eclipse, is set to sweep across northern regions of the world ...
Total Eclipse Of The Sun - Da Da - Tomorrow
Cinema Blend - 1 hour ago
By Steve West: 2008-07-31 22:01:31 This one is for the weather watchers and star gazers out there. Tomorrow there will the first total eclipse of the sun ...
Total eclipse of sun to be visible in India partially today
Sify, India - 41 minutes ago
New Delhi: A total eclipse of the sun will occur on Friday afternoon and it will be visible as a partial eclipse throughout India. ...

NASA Brings Total Solar Eclipse to the Masses

by Mitch Battros - Earth Changes Media

On August 1st 2008, a total solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Canada, northern Greenland, the Arctic, central Russia, Mongolia, and China. The eclipse will sweep across Earth in a narrow path that begins in Canada's northern province of Nunavut and ends in northern China's Silk Road region at Sunset.

An eclipse of the Sun occurs when the moon passes directly between Earth and the Sun. When the moon's shadow falls on Earth, people within that shadow see the moon block a portion of the Sun's light.

The moon's shadow has two parts, an umbra and a penumbra. The umbra is the "inner" part of the moon's shadow. The penumbra is the moon's faint "outer" shadow.

Time Zone Graph: http://www.earthcha ngesmedia. com/total_ solar_eclipse_ aug_2008. jpg

During a total solar eclipse, like the one that takes place August 1, the moon appears to cover all of the Sun for observers located in the moon?s umbral shadow, also known as the "path of totality." Those viewing the eclipse from the moon's penumbral shadow see the moon cover a portion of the Sun.

At the moment of totality, when the Sun is totally obscured by the moon's shadow, the Sun's outer atmosphere, called the solar corona, becomes visible. It's a seldom-seen sight coveted by experienced eclipse watchers and an awe-inspiring vision for first-time viewers. The solar corona extends farther than 620,000 miles from the Sun's visible surface and reaches temperatures up to 2 million degrees.

Be sure to catch the event August 1st on NASA TV's streaming live webcast from 6 a.m. (EST) until 11 a.m. (EST) and celebrate this magnificent sight, courtesy of our nearest neighbors, the Sun and moon.

Streaming Live Webcast: http://eclipse. gsfc.nasa. gov/eclipse. html

**Watch For (Part III) 'Solar Eclipse Events'

---- Coming Later This Week ----

____________ _________ _____

History of Ancient Solar Eclipses in China

From Mitch Battros - Earth Changes Media

It is impossible to read ancient Chinese astronomical history without encountering the sad plight of court astrologers Hsi and Ho. To them is attributed the earliest mention of a total solar eclipse among all ancient records before 2000 B.C. Not even the civilization of Ancient Egypt, for which the Sun was the chief deity, Ra, were total solar eclipses recorded on any extant monument, despite a civilization with a written record as far back as ca 3,500 BC.

Hsi and Ho were believed to have been two astrologers who served the Emperor Chung K'ang around 2134 B.C. On October 22 of that year, a total solar eclipse occurred and it was recorded in the ancient Chinese document Shu Ching, that 'the Sun and Moon did not meet harmoniously' .

By some accounts, the two astrologers were negligent in their duties and did not foretell the event for the Emperor. They were summarily beheaded for their negligence of duty. Given that no one prior to 100 AD could reliably anticipate total eclipses, there must have been quite a few similar events played out over the silent millennia.

FULL ARTICLE: http://earthchanges secure/3247. 326/article- 9162522496. php

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Reuters - 15 hours ago
LONDON (Reuters) - A mechanical brass calculator used by the ancient Greeks to predict solar and lunar eclipses was probably also used to set the dates for the first Olympic games, researchers said on Wednesday.
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