THUNDER BAY – On Sunday, in the evening sky it is likely going to look a little darker a little earlier before the sun sets in the evening. There will be a partial eclipse of the sun visible in Northwestern Ontario. In Thunder Bay the eclipse will start at 7:15:56PM EDT. The maximum eclipse will be at 8:13:39PM EDT, and the eclipse will end at 8:33PM EDT.
NASA reports that an annular eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor along Earth’s northern Hemisphere — beginning in eastern Asia, crossing the North Pacific Ocean, and ending in the western United States. A partial eclipse will be visible from a much larger region covering East Asia, North Pacific, North America and Greenland.
During an annular eclipse the moon does not block the entirety of the sun, but leaves a bright ring of light visible at the edges. For the May eclipse, the moon will be at the furthest distance from Earth that it ever achieves – meaning that it will block the smallest possible portion of the sun, and leave the largest possible bright ring around the outside.
To find out the best times to view the eclipse from your location, visit eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov.
The joint JAXA/NASA Hinode mission will observe the eclipse and provide images and movies that will be available on the NASA website.
Due to Hinode’s orbit around the Earth, Hinode will actually observe 4 separate partial eclipses.
Scientists often use an eclipse to help calibrate the instruments on the telescope by focusing in on the edge of the moon as it crosses the sun and measuring how sharp it appears in the images. An added bonus: Hinode’s X-ray Telescope will be able to provide images of the peaks and valleys of the lunar surface.
The orbits for NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO), and the joint ESA/NASA mission the Solar Heliospheric Observatory will not provide them with a view of the eclipse.
The next solar eclipse will be the total solar eclipse on November 13, 2012.
In the photograph: Hinode captured this image of the January 6, 2011 solar eclipse. Credit: Hinode