Join us for for our next meeting on Saturday August 19th, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Charlie Elliott Conference Center, Room B!

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August Meeting & Observing

Gone eclipsing…sort of…

Meeting Details

Join us on Saturday August 19th, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the Charlie Elliott Conference Center, Room B,  at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center for our August meeting!  If you haven’t heard already, there’s an eclipse happening just up the road a piece! Marie Lott will be on hand to give a talk about eclipse basics, what you can expect to see from your location, and where to go if you want to experience totality.  To get you started, check out these eclipse tips and facts…

Eclipse Tips

*Always inspect your solar filter before each use. If scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.

*If your solar glasses were procured from a reputable source and are ISO12312-2 certified, you can observe the sun directly for an indefinite amount of time provided that there is no damage to the filter material.

*Always supervise children using solar filters.

*Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright sun. After looking at the sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the sun.

*Do not look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.

*Seek advice from an amateur or professional astronomer with experience observing or imaging the Sun before using a solar filter with a camera, a telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device. Note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics. Charlie Elliott Astronomy is blessed with an active group of solar imagers and observers. If you have questions, jump on our Facebook page and ask away!

*If you are fortunate enough to be in the path of totality, keep your solar glasses on until the moon completely covers the sun. Once the moon completely covers the sun, remove your solar glasses and experience and enjoy totality. As soon as the sun begins to reappear, put your solar glasses back on and enjoy the rest of the eclipse.

*If you are outside of the path of totality, you’ll need to wear your solar viewing glasses for the duration of the eclipse to view the sun directly.

*If you wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your solar viewing glasses over your eyeglasses and enjoy the eclipse.

*If you plan to image the eclipse, make sure the first time you use your imaging rig is not August 21, 2017. Do several dress rehearsals and prepare thoroughly. Unless you plan to become an eclipse chaser, you won’t get another chance this close to home.

*If you do miss this one, you’ll have another chance to catch a total solar eclipse in the United States on April 8, 2024.  The path of totality will cut through Texas, Arkansas, a bit of Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, a bit of Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.  Sorry, Atlanta, no near-totality, but it will still be a sight to behold!

Eclipse Facts

*For an eclipse to occur, the Moon must be directly between the Sun and the Earth.

*For an eclipse to occur, the Moon must be the correct distance from the Earth and the Earth must the the correct distance from the Sun. The distance from the Earth to the Moon varies a bit as the Moon orbits the Earth and the distance from the Earth to the Sun varies a bit as the Earth orbits the Sun, so this happens less than you might think.

*The path of totality is 60-80 miles wide.

*An eclipse occurs an average of once every 18 months. The oceans cover 71% of the surface of the Earth, so most of these eclipses happen over water. Yes, you can pay a lot of money to go out in the middle of the ocean on a boat and see an eclipse.

*If you are willing to travel and, you will be able to see 1 to 2 eclipses every few years. If you decide to be cheap and wait for an eclipse to come to you, the average wait time is 500 years. Good luck with that.

*It seems that Atlanta residents fare quite a bit better than the odds, in recent history at least. The last total solar eclipse in Atlanta was June 24th, 1778 with totality at 9:35 a.m.. The next total solar eclipse in Atlanta is May 11th, 2078 with totality at 2:21 p.m.

Thanks to Dan Herron and the fine folks at NASA for these eclipse tips and facts.

Note:  For those of you planning ahead, please note that the October meeting has been moved to October 14, 2017.

All of the Above!

Charlie Elliott Astronomy Observing Supervisor Extraordinaire David Whalen saves the day!  Everyone everywhere has been inundated with eclipse this and eclipse that, eclipse tips and eclipse facts…sorry about that.  David will give a presentation that has absolutely nothing to do with the eclipse and talk about what you can expect to see in the sky this month with binoculars and small telescopes, as well as the monthly observing challenge.  If you’ve been to one of our meetings, you know that David is an exciting and engaging speaker and always delivers a lot of great information with plenty of laughs.

Observing After the Meeting

All are invited to Jon Wood Astronomy Field immediately after the meeting (weather-permitting). As always, the event is free and everyone is welcome.

Technical Workshops

There is no Technical Workshop scheduled for August.  If you have an idea for a 15-30 minute discussion or presentation that you would like to see or would like to give,  contact the Charlie Elliott Program Coordinator, Steve Siedentop.

Downloads from the Last Meeting

Our Monthly Meetings and Public Observing Nights for 2017-2018

June 24, 2017,  July 22, 2017, August 19, 2017, September 23, 2017, October 14, 2017, November 18, 2017,
December 16, 2017, January 20, 2018, February 17, 2018, March 17, 2018, April 14, 2018, May 12, 2018, June 16, 2018

Meetings start approximately 2 hours before sunset. Meeting rooms and start times vary, so please check back here for details. Public stargazing on Jon Wood Astronomy Field follows the meeting.

View our Full Calendar

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