The eclipse starts at 4pm, peaks around 4:45 pm and ends around 6pm.
It's too dangerous to look at the sun (can cause pain and eye damage) and view the partial eclipse but there are other ways. If you don't have eye wear with special solar filters then you can always create a pinhole camera. :)
A partial solar eclipse will be visible Thursday afternoon beginning around 4 p.m. A solar eclipse takes place when the moon moves between the sun and the earth. The weather will remain perfect for viewing this celestial event however during a solar eclipse it is important to use caution. It is not safe to look directly into the sun with the naked eye. One of the best ways of viewing the partial eclipse is by making a small opening in a card. Secondly, hold the card between the sun and a projection surface such as a white sheet of paper. You should see the partial shadow of the moon.
The Orionid meteor shower peaks on Tuesday, October 21st! You could see up to 25 meteors per hour. The best time to look up and away from city lights is after midnight and before dawn which typically occurs around 6:15AM. You might even get lucky and see some earth grazing meteors a couple days in advance and on the day of the shower. Those are typically bright and low on the horizon and can be difficult to see in the state of Alabama due to trees blocking the view.
The weather should be great for viewing with little in the way of cloud cover, light winds and temperatures in the lower 50s.
Meteors will tend to radiate from the constellation Orion which sets up in the southeastern sky but usually if you just look up, your eye should catch a few shooting stars.
CONVERGING PLANETS: Venus and Jupiter are converging for a stunning conjunction in the pre-dawn sky. At closest approach on August 18th, the two planets will be just 0.2 degrees apart, tight enough to hide behind the tip of your outstretched pinky. www.spaceweather.com
Look east about 30 minutes before sunrise so at about 5:40AM.
A clear view of the horizon is required to see the low-hanging pair.
Each morning between now and the 18th the distance between the two will decrease as they converge for their dramatic meeting next Monday.
If you happen to capture the two planets, send an image to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sky conditions will be prime for viewing the next several mornings!
The last several nights have not been the best for meteor watching. Expect some dramatic improvements tonight with clearing skies and more comfortable temperatures. This is great news since one of the best sky shows of the year peakss tonight - the Perseid Meteor Shower.
Best Time to View: The best time to view is just before sunrise. This is when the sky is the darkest. I'd suggest between 3am and 5am.
Where to View: Just look up and you'll likely see a meteor tonight. If you want to get technical, look toward the northeast part of the sky and the point directly above you known as the zenith.
The best place to go is away from city lights. You will want to stay away from artificial light contamination. Our current moon phase is not going to be the most cooperative with the viewing, but it's still worth a shot considering the clear sky expected tonight.
NASA has a special page setup for the Perseids. You'll be able to watch with their meteor cameras as well as participate in a live chat.
The biggest full Moon of the summer rises this Sunday evening around 7:30pm and will appear 14% brighter and 30% larger. A supermoon happens once or twice a year when the full moon is closer to Earth than during other full moons. On average, the distance from the Earth to the moon is about 238,000 miles. When the moon is further away from the Earth it's called apogee and when it's closest it's called perigee. The next supermoon is on Sunday, September 27, 2015.
I think there will be enough breaks in the clouds on Sunday night to at least see the moon through them or fully in some spots. If you get a good picture of it then please share with us at email@example.com.
The moon, not full but still very large is going to rise each evening over the next few nights which is when the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks (August 11-13th). You'll have a difficult time seeing the meteors, which could be up to 100 per hour due to the brightness of the moon. If you wish to attempt to see the meteors then be sure to look up during the pre-dawn hours either on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning and be away from city lights. You may get lucky enough during that time frame because the moon will be in the process of setting so it won't be as high in the sky.
The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than the other ("apogee"). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon's orbit seem extra big and bright.
This coincidence happens three times in 2014. On July 12th and Sept 9th the Moon becomes full on the same day as perigee. On August 10th it becomes full during the same hour as perigee—arguably making it an extra-super Moon." This is all according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
NASA says, in practice, it's not always easy to tell the difference between a supermoon and an ordinary full Moon. A 30% difference in brightness can easily be masked by clouds and haze. Also, there are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters. Hanging high overhead with no reference points to provide a sense of scale, one full Moon looks about the same size as any other.
Hear about the Moon Illusion before?
The illusion occurs when the Moon is near the horizon. For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging Moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, buildings and other foreground objects. When the Moon illusion amplifies a perigee Moon, the swollen orb rising in the east at sunset can seem super indeed.
Here's a look at the Supermoon from 5AM in Pell City. Share pics with us! You'll get to see it again this evening when it rises around 8PM.
MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0894
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1124 AM CDT SUN JUN 08 2014
AREAS AFFECTED...ARKLAMISS...NERN MS...WCNTRL AL
CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY
VALID 081624Z - 081730Z
PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT
SUMMARY...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH WILL LIKELY BE ISSUED TO ACCOUNT
FOR ORGANIZED MULTI-CELL THUNDERSTORMS CAPABLE OF PRODUCING DAMAGING
DISCUSSION...LEADING EDGE OF OVERNIGHT MCS HAS PROGRESSED ACROSS AR
INTO NWRN MS WHERE CONVECTIVE DEBRIS IS THINNING. OUTFLOW FROM THIS
ACTIVITY IS DRAPED IN AN ARCING FASHION ACROSS NWRN MS...SWWD ALONG
THE LA/AR BORDER AND SHOULD SERVE AS A FOCUS FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
DEVELOPMENT OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. ADDITIONALLY...A SUBSTANTIAL
AND MATURING BOUNDARY LAYER CU FIELD IS NOTED DOWNSTREAM ACROSS
CNTRL/NERN MS. SHOWERS ARE MATURING WITHIN THESE INTENSIFYING
THERMALS AND SCT-NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO EVOLVE ALONG
A CORRIDOR FROM NRN LA...EWD INTO WCNTRL AL OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS.
12Z SOUNDINGS AT SHV/JAN/BMX ALL INDICATE SUFFICIENT MID-LEVEL FLOW
TO SUPPORT ORGANIZED MULTI-CELL UPDRAFTS. GIVEN SFC-3KM LAPSE RATES
ON THE ORDER OF 7 C/KM AND MLCAPE ALREADY NEAR 3000 J/KG...ROBUST
UPDRAFTS/DOWNDRAFTS SHOULD PRODUCE HAIL/WIND AS CONVECTION GROWS
UPSCALE WITHIN MODESTLY SHEARED ENVIRONMENT.