In the 2nd part of this short guide on the Peakfinder.org panorama generator I would like to focus on another kind of observations, that we can enjoy with. There are solar & lunar eclipses. Those celestial events are quite rare (especially solar eclipses) so this is the prime reason, for that we should prepare as best as possible.
Previously I have explained how to use the Peakfinder.org panorama generator in conjunction with the solar and lunar ephemeras. I have found, that this website can be helpful for planning the solar & lunar eclipse observations. Despite of no proper signatures (Sun in Peakfinder always looks the same, Moon changes due to phases) this matter is possible when using appropriate websites for it.
To be said apart of the Peakfinder.org you need to open:
– NASA Eclipse home page – where you find a detailed solar & lunar circumstances,
– Mooncalc.org – with rough Moon ephemeras for your location.
I would like to show the solar eclipse issues first, because (at least) for me is easier to demonstrate it. Aforementioned NASA Eclipse home page provides a detailed Google Maps-based circumstances for almost all solar eclipses between 2000BC and 3000AD. I will focus on a few forthcoming eclipses. It’s good to mention, that this website can be useful for stagering your photos not only for total or annular eclipses but for partial ones too.
When you browsing the Nasa eclipse web page you have a few choices of the eclipse databases (Pic. 1).
All databases has been divided on the decades, from which you can choose a single solar eclipse. Is advisable to click on the link to Google Map rather than Global Map (Pic.2), because it will be easier for you go get around with.
In this section you can find the total and annular solar eclipses only. Basically there is no google map provided for partial eclipses, however bear in mind, that either total or annular solar eclipse occures as a partial one on wide area.
When you are in, click “Large map” and find the observation site taken into your consideration and put marker there (Pic. 3,4). I will not explain this profoundly now. If you want to know more read my previous articles about the vizualisation of total solar eclipse in Google Earth.
When you have got your location ready open the Peakfinder.org website and find the same location there (Pic. 5) using the “Maps” option. Sometimes your location may be used repeatedly and at the outcome found in far different place (loke Cambridge UK, Cambridge US or York UK, Youk WA, etc.). When you have issues like this put another (bigger) town into the bracket and check which one matches up (Pic.5).
Once you find your location click “Goto” in Peakfinder and enjoy your view! (Pic. 6). Remember, that you have to adjust your local time to this one given by Nasa webpage (GMT 0). For this place (Argentina) it will be GMT-3).
For this location Sun seems to be too high to snap it beyond mountains. You can find a better place then (Pic 7,8), located not far from your initial location.
Next solar eclipse is annular one. The path starts in eastern Saudi Arabia and proceeds towards south east via Quatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman. There are a lot of places, where you can take pictures a deep partial eclipse with Al Hajar mountains, that falls a tens kilometers from the path of annlarity. The obscuration dorung maximum eclipse will reach near 90%. I found one place in eastern United Arab Emirates (border city Al Ain) with amazing view of this eclipse just after sunrise (Pic. 9,10).
There is arleady many examples of solar eclipses chased above beautiful mountainuous horizon. See a few below:
In case of lunar eclipse this excercise is not straighforward as could be. The Nasa Eclipse Web Site doesn’t supply the lunar eclipse data with Google Maps. Only general patterns in .pdf format are available. Once you open the calendar date of lunar eclipse link you should have all general information as per below (Pic.17), whilst the scant eclipse graph on the bottom (Pic. 18). You need to zoom it in as much as possible to figure out the eclipse phase in your location.
Red arrow on pic. 18 shows my observation site in extremely north east part of Poland. Only there end of partial phase will be visible. I would like to check how my observation site will look during this moment. Having this poor graph only I can’t really find my place in Peakfinder.org. Much helpful will be the Mooncalc.org (Pic. 19). Although you need to know how to use it (Pic. 1) to get around quickly.
When you have prepared the observation site in Mooncalc.org server go to Peakfinder.org and find your location there. Once you do this you can check the best place for lunar eclipse observation. On 31st January 2018 partial eclipse ends at 16:11 GMT+1. It’s going to be really hard to see last minutes of this partiality from there (Pic. 21,22).
Maybe this example is not easy to demonstrate, so let’s take a look for next lunar eclipse, that will occur in late july 2018 (Pic. 23). Now I took into account 3 different locations, from where moonrise above mouintains is possible on eclipse day (27.07.2018).
First one refers to beautiful mountainuous corners of Lesser Poland. One of them is the Chyzne, border villge with Slovakia, from where partially eclipsed Moon will rise above Tatra Mountains (Pic. 24). It can be seen from slovakian Orawa also (Trstena, Trvdosin).
The Chamonix region attract the tourists year by year. There is a lot of facilitues, picturesque views and also the greatest opportunity to see the highest peak in Europe – Mount Blanc from very short distance. It can be a perfect spot for lunar eclipse watchers on 27th July this year. You just need to go to Sallanches and set your equipment just a little bit north from the village to see rising eclipsed Moon above Mount Blanc (Pic. 25).
Total eclipsed Moon will rise in Great Britain. Scotsmans will have a great opportunity to see this occurence right above their the highest mountain – Ben Nevis. They only need to flock near Fort William alongside the Loch Eil. There a brown Moon should rise around 22:10 at the very end of totality. For them, who wants to see the total phase much longer is advisable to reach the Gulvain peak, that rises above earlied mentioned Loch Eil (Pic. 26).
Despite of lack the appropriate signage (solar & lunar eclipse) in Peakfinder.org, at least for the time being I hope, that it will help you to plan roughly your observation site. There are a simply website tools and I am pretty sure, that everyone should combat with it. At the finish I would like to show a few examples, tat I found in the web. Unfortunately I have not occasion to carry out this kind of observations yet.
1. Total solar eclipse vizualisation in Google Earth