Partial Solar Eclipse October 23, 2014
by Adam Esposito • October 23, 2014
Thursday October 23rd, 2014 marked a unique opportunity to view our host star, the Sun. Starting in the early San Francisco afternoon, our only natural satellite, the Moon, passed in front of the disc of the Sun resulting in a partial solar eclipse. For over 3 hours, members of the SFAA (San Francisco Amateur Astronomers), Exploratorium Explainers, volunteers and members of the Studio for Public Spaces turned the Embarcadero into a sidewalk observatory, creating safe and fun methods to view the eclipse with the public.
Crowds gathered around an Exploratorium-made Solar Telescope to view the encroaching silhouette of the new Moon (including its uneven terrain) and the massive AR 2192. This Solar Active Region (AR) is larger than Jupiter and the largest sunspot of the last 24 years!
In addition to telescopes, Chris Bell's Sun Swarm installation projected wave-jostled crescent images of the eclipsed sun onto the Pier 17 apron. Julie Crossman's straw hat became an impromptu pinhole screen for eclipse imaging.
It was a perfect Bay Area fall day with lively public demonstrations, questions and experiments, but the next partial solar eclipse visible in San Francisco won't be until August 2017! Don't count on finding me here, however; I'll be out of state in the path of totality, a ribbon of the Earth's surface that sees the total solar eclipse. [links]