Monday, May 21, 2012

Solar Eclipse

As most of you know, there was a solar eclipse Monday morning.  Japanese astronomy publishers had been anticipating this event for months, with solar viewing glasses going on sale back in Feb.  Last week, I hobbled to a bookstore to grab a pair, and they were almost sold out.  I grabbed one package that had a really nice guide map, 3 pairs of glasses and a pinhole card for 1000 yen ($12 USD).  The guide map showed that the eclipse would run the full length of Japan, with Kagoshima perfectly centered in the middle of the route.  The peak of the eclipse would be at 7:22 AM.  The map also has a mention of the Venus transit across the Sun in June.

In keeping with the rest of my luck, it was clouded over Monday morning with occasional rain.  Next eclipse over Japan won't be for another 20 years.

There was the full lunar eclipse back in December, when it rained then, too.

On top of all of this, the Japan Times had a story about JAXA's first commercial satellite launch from Tanegashima last Friday night (1:30 AM).  Tanegashima is an island about 100 miles south of Kagoshima used as a JAXA launch site.  It's close enough for the rocket trail to be seen, though it would be low on the horizon for me.  It's really hard to get launch information in Japan, so I was excited about actually having a fixed time for this one.  Of course, the sky was cloudy and with my broken foot I couldn't get out of the city to get a clear view down the coastline.



Shiroibara said...

Albuquerque was another location that was able to get the "ring of fire" effect. Dan's got some really cool pictures both filtered through special glasses and camera alone. When he's feeling better I'll ask if he'd be willing to let me send you some. :)

TSOTE said...

Thanks, Shiobara.