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Friday, March 20, 2015

Solar eclipse, Supermoon, Spring equinox (Location List Included): Friday March 20th will see three rare celestial events

The occurrence of an Eclipse and an Equinox is a very rare event. 

Given the importance the powers that should not be place on astrological events one wonders what this year will have in store; re Occult Meanings of Winter Solstice and Christmas | AstroTheology. Already there is a great deal occurring within the financial arena. The Euro has lost a considerable amount of value, and many nations are flocking to join the BRICS and the China Bank
- Justin 

Source - Independent

As the eclipse plunges the UK and other places into darkness this Friday, two other rare if less spectacular celestial events will be taking place, too: a Supermoon and the Spring equinox.

A Supermoon, or perigee moon, happens when the full or new moon does its closest fly-by of the Earth, making it look bigger than it normally does. And the spring equinox refers to the time of the year when the day and night are of equal duration, mid-way between the longest and shortest days.




READ MORE: WHEN TO LOOK OUT FOR THE ECLIPSE ON FRIDAY


The solar eclipse refers to a phenomenon where the sun and moon line up, so that the latter obscures the former. And while it won’t be affected by the two other events, it is rare that the three events happen even individually.


Supermoon

Most of the time, there are between three and six Supermoons a year. There is set to be six in 2015, two of which have already happened. The next will take place on March 20, the day of the eclipse, and the others will come in August, September and October.



In pictures: The biggest supermoon of 2014

Eclipses can only happen at new moon, when the moon appears is entirely in shadow. And the spectacular Supermoon images that are often spotted can only happen when the moon is full, since it can only be seen then.

As a result, only the last three Supermoons of this year will be visible — because the moon is new rather than full on March 20, it won’t be seen. But it will be gliding past us closer than ever, and its shadow will be visible as it blocks out the sun on Friday morning.



Spring equinox

The equinox will also happen on March 20. While it won’t have any discernable, direct impact on how the solar eclipse looks, it will contribute to a rare collision of three unusual celestial events.

On March 20, the Earth’s axis will be perpindecular to the sun’s rays — which only happens twice a year, at the two equinoxes. After that, it will start tipping over, making the days longer in the northern hemisphere.

As such, the equinox has long been celebrated as a time of beginning and renewal, by a number of historic cultures, and is linked to Easter and Passover.

The equinox will happen at the same time as a solar eclipse in 2053 and 2072, though it doesn’t always appear as close together as that.
_________
Source - Earthsky

Supermoon total eclipse of equinox sun on March 20

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On March 20 – same date as the 2015 March equinox – the moon turns new only 14 hours after reaching lunar perigee – moon’s closest point to Earth in its orbit. Thus this moon is a supermoon – at the new phase – not visible in our sky, but having a larger-than-average effect on Earth’s oceans. Plus this new supermoon swings right in front of the equinox sun on March 20, so that the moon’s shadow falls on parts of Earth. Follow the links below to learn more.
The solar eclipse of March 20, 2015.  Map by Larry Koehn.  See it larger, in animated form, at his wonderful website shadowandsubstance.com.
The solar eclipse of March 20, 2015. Map by Larry Koehn. See it larger, in animated form, at his wonderful websiteshadowandsubstance.com.
Who will see the March 20 eclipse? Note on the worldwide map above that the path of totality (in red) passes mainly over the frigid waters of North Atlantic Ocean. In other words, only those along that path – at high northern latitudes, near Greenland and Iceland – will see the total eclipse. The path of totality starts at sunrise to the south of Greenland, circles to the east of Greenland and Iceland at midday, and ends to the north of Greenland at sunset. The best spots to watch this total solar eclipse from land are the Faroe Islands and the Svalbard archipelago, which reside right on the semi-circle path of totality. Eclipse times for total eclipse below.
A much larger swath of the world gets to see varying degrees of a partial solar eclipse (Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East and northwestern Asia). Eclipse times for partial eclipse below.
caption
Safely watching a solar eclipse via the projection method. Photo by Flickr user David.
How to watch an eclipse safely. Remember to use proper eye protection if you want to observe this eclipse!
The photo above shows one method for safely watching the partial phases of a solar eclipse: the projection method.
You can also view an eclipse safely through special eclipse glasses. Purchase eclipse glasses from the EarthSky store.
Big fun in Austin, Texas at the May 20, 2012 solar eclipse when an EarthSky employee passed out solar eclipse glasses at a local restaurant.  Way to go, EarthSky's Joni Hall!
Big fun in Austin, Texas at the May 20, 2012 solar eclipse when an EarthSky employee passed out solar eclipse glasses at a local restaurant.
March 20, 2015 total eclipse times from land
T├│rshavn, Faroe Islands
Partial solar eclipse begins: 8:39 a.m. Western European Time (WET)
Total solar eclipse begins: 9:41 a.m. WET
Maximum eclipse: 9:42 a.m. WET
Total solar eclipse ends: 9:43 a.m. WET
Partial solar eclipse ends: 10:48 a.m. WET
Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Partial solar eclipse begins: 10:12 a.m. Central European Time (CET)
Total solar eclipse begins: 11:11 a.m. CET
Maximum eclipse: 11:12 a.m. CET
Total solar eclipse ends: 11:13 a.m. CET
Partial solar eclipse ends: 12:12 a.m. CET
Source: TimeandDate.com
Many saw dancing illuminated crescents like these, created when the leaves of trees and bushes acted as pinhole cameras and projected the eclipsed sun's image onto cars and buildings.  This photo from Chris Walker in Dayton, Nevada.
Partial eclipses are very beautiful, too. During the May 2012 eclipse, as the moon nearly blotted out the sun, many saw dancing illuminated crescents like these, created when the leaves of trees and bushes acted as pinhole cameras and projected the eclipsed sun’s image onto cars and buildings. This photo from Chris Walker in Dayton, Nevada.


March 20, 2015 partial eclipse times
Reykjavik, Iceland
Solar eclipse begins: 8:38 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Greatest eclipse: 9:37 a.m. GMT
Solar eclipse ends: 10:39 a.m. GMT
Maximum obscuration of solar disk: 98%
London, England
Solar eclipse begins: 8:25 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Greatest eclipse: 9:31 a.m. GMT
Solar eclipse ends: 10:41 a.m. GMT
Maximum obscuration of solar disk: 84%
Algiers, Algeria
Solar eclipse begins: 9:06 a.m. Central European Time (CET)
Greatest eclipse: 10:11 a.m. CET
Solar eclipse ends: 11:20 a.m. CET
Maximum obscuration of solar disk: 53%
Istanbul, Turkey
Solar eclipse begins: 10:53 a.m. Eastern European Time (EET)
Greatest eclipse: 11:57 a.m. EET
Solar eclipse ends: 1:02 p.m. EET
Maximum obscuration of solar disk: 32%
Moscow, Russia
Solar eclipse begins: 12:13 p.m. Moscow Standard Time (MST)
Greatest eclipse: 1:20 p.m. MST
Solar eclipse ends: 2:27 p.m. MST
Maximum obscuration of solar disk: 58%
Still not sure when to watch? Try these links
You can obtain specific information on the March 20 eclipse in your part of the world at the sites listed below. Be sure to watch whether the times are given in Universal Time, meaning you must convert Universal Time into your local time.
TimeandDate.com – gives eclipse times in local time
HM Nautical Almanac – eclipse animations for 534 localities
Interactive Google map – information is just a click away
Solar eclipse computer – courtesy of the US Naval observatory
When the new moon closely aligns with one of its nodes, the moon's dark umbral shadow falls on Earth, presenting a total eclipse of the sun.
When the new moon closely aligns with one of its nodes, the moon’s dark umbral shadow falls on Earth, presenting a total eclipse of the sun.
What causes a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse happens whenever the new moon passes in front of the sun, and the moon’s shadow falls on our planet. A solar eclipse is only possible at new moon because that’s the only time whereby the moon to go in front of the sun, as seen from Earth. Most of the time, however, the new moon either swings north or south of the solar disk, so no eclipse of the sun takes place.
The plane of the moon’s orbit around Earth is inclined at 5o to the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the sun. For half the month, the moon orbits Earth to the north of the ecliptic (Earth’s orbital plane); and for the other half of the month, the moon orbits Earth to the south of the ecliptic (Earth’s orbital plane). Twice a month, however, the moon crosses the Earth’s orbital plane at points called nodes. If the moon is traveling from north to south, it’s called a descending node, and when it’s going from south to north, it’s called an ascending node.
When a new moon happens while the moon is appreciably close to one of its nodes, a solar eclipse is not only possible – but inevitable. It’s not a perfect alignment, though, as the moon reaches its descending node about 17 hours after the moon turns new. However, the new moon happens close enough to its node for the moon’s dark umbral shadow to clip the northern reaches of the globe and for a total solar eclipse to take place at along a semi-circle path at far-northerly latitudes.
Want more? Try this NASA video:


Bottom line: On March 20, 2015 the larger-than-average new supermoon swings right in front of the sun to totally block out the solar disk. Although you have to be at the just right spot on Earth to witness this total eclipse of the sun (Faroe Islands and the Svalbard archipelago), a much larger swath of the world gets to see varying degrees of a partial solar eclipse (Greenland, Iceland, Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East and northwestern Asia). Remember to use proper eye protection!






Sources:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/solar-eclipse-supermoon-spring-equinox-friday-will-see-three-rare-celestial-events-10111592.html


http://earthsky.org/tonight/supermoon-to-stage-total-eclipse-of-the-sun-on-march-20
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