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Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Partial Solar Eclipse of January 4, 2011 from Israel

GIVATAYIM, ISRAEL - JANUARY 04:   The view of ...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeLast Tuesday's partial solar eclipse was well seen from Mitzpe Ramon, but much of northern Israel was under cloud cover and so missed the event. I set up in from the of the CafeNeto to allow the public to get a view using an 80mm refractor with a white light sun filter, naked eye with a #14 welder's glass, and naked eye through clouds that moved in toward the end.

The best metaphor for the eclipse came from my friend Shiki, who took a look through the telescope and said "Banana". I had never heard that one before. A Bedouin looked through the telescope and exclaimed, "Allah Akhbar" (Allah is great.) A number of high school students from the yeshiva came by and were the most excited of all. They really liked the naked eye view through the #14 welder's glass. I must admit there is something very compelling about seeing an eclipse of the sun directly with your naked eye. It has an immediacy lacking in the telescopic view.

Solar eclipse through my 80mm refractor with white light solar filter. (Photo: Ira Machefsky; click for full size image.)

Naked eye view of eclipse through clouds from Mitzpe Ramon. (Photo: Ira Machefsky; click for full size.)

There will not be another partial solar eclipse visible from Israel until March 2015. The last one visible from here was in August 1999.

Keep on looking up!
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