In our yearly lap around the Sun, Earth is approaching the dusty debris left over from the passage of Comet Swift-Tuttle. This comet produces one of the best meteor showers of the year – the Perseids. We plough through this celestial cloud from July 17 to August 24, with the peak or most meteors seen on the night of August 12/13. This show produces 100 or more meteors per hour. With 71% of the lunar surface still lit, the glow will wash out the fainter meteors. But it is a weekend event.
Total Solar Eclipse – The long anticipated total eclipse of the Sun over North America will take place on Monday August 21. The path of totality crosses 14 states with partial phases seen from all parts of Canada. I cannot emphasize enough, that people should not look at the Sun without proper protection. Dark sunglasses will not protect from direct viewing. Various ways to safely observe the partial event:
– Eclipse glasses can be purchased from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. (www.rasc.ca) follow the links.
– Baader solar filter for telescopes, binoculars and camera lenses – search online from telescope dealers.
– #14 welders glass can be purchased from most local welding supply dealers. Not high enough quality to use with camera. Use Baader film.
– Build a pinhole camera form various web sites. Image safely cast at the opposite and of a shoe box.
– Trees produce natural pinhole cameras with hundreds of crescent suns appear in its shadow.
On Monday, August 21, 2017, 1 pm to 3 pm, join the Friends of the Ferguson Forest Centre and our expert astronomers, Steve Wendt and Jim Quinn from the North Gower Science Club, in viewing North America’s first total solar eclipse since 2008. They will set up equipment so that you can observe the eclipse as it happens. Come out and grab a pair of eclipse glasses for the best astronomical event of the year! In North Grenville we can expect to see around 60% of the eclipse. Everyone wanting to experience the eclipse should be very careful about safety rules. People should never view the sun directly. People should NOT use homemade solar filters — they might reduce the VISIBLE light, but still let in the damaging ultraviolet radiation.
Follow the signs and meet up in the arboretum, Ferguson Forest Centre, 275 County Rd 44, Kemptville. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. Info: [email protected], or at www.friendsofthefergusonforest.ca, and fb.com/friends of the ferguson forest centre.