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The Webfooted Astronomer - July 2000


Randy's Ramblings: July: The Eclipse Month

By Randy Johnson, SAS President

JULY is eclipse month in 2000. On the first of July there is an eclipse of the sun that is not available to us here in the Pacific Northwest. But early on Sunday morning, July 16, Seattle is treated to an eclipse of the moon. And on Sunday, July 30, the second eclipse of the sun for the month occurs. The latter solar eclipse will be visible from Seattle as the sun sinks in the western sky.

My hope is that people in the club will take their scopes out for both of these events to share with members of the general public. Mark Zemanek has suggested that we might use Constellation Park in West Seattle to view one or both of these. About the park and its location Mark had this to say in a recent posting to Webftweb, the SAS e-mail list:

"…Taking the W. Seattle Freeway you'd exit at Admiral Way SW and follow this over the crest, through the Admiral junction. Turn left at the first stop sign (64th Av. SW), and drive to the next stop sign at Beach Dr. SW. Turn right into the park.

"I actually set up about 500 ft. north of the park proper, where there is a nice, large concrete pad that extends off the boardwalk."

If you choose to stay up (or in the case of the smarter individuals amongst us, get up) for the lunar eclipse on the 16, you might keep in mind that a relatively bright comet is in the sky. Comet LINEAR might be viewable in the subdued light of the full, but eclipsed moon.

Also, remember to give the lecture on safe solar viewing procedure if you are doing the solar eclipse with non-astronomers.

Other places around town that might work well include Sunset Park, near Shilshole, Discovery Park, Magnolia Bluff and anywhere else with a good westward view. It's not really important where you go, but this is a great opportunity to share astronomy with others. I hope that you will consider doing so.

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