Edition 02 of the Astronomy On-line Newspaper

Observe the Solar Eclipse on October 12!

Dear Astronomy On Line Partners!

Now, the day of the next Astronomy On-Line event is rapidly approaching. On Saturday afternoon this week, we will experience the last solar eclipse prior to the European total super-eclipse in 1999.

We expect - with a bit of luck - clear weather. You may check that via the ESO Weather Page - but even in case you get clouded out, you may possibly observe the general outside darkening.

As described in our papers which you may access via http://www.eso.org/astronomyonline/market/collaboration/soleclipse/, this eclipse will be quite dramatic, at maximum, the intensity of the sunlight will be reduced by a factor of 2 - 4, depending where you are.

In Northern Scandinavia, Astronomy On-Line students may even experience a drop in sunlight intensity similar to the daily conditions on planet Mars.

We strongly suggest that as many European Schools/Amateurs as possible join this solar eclipse project.

Please note, you do NOT need fancy equipment to join this project, simple stuff will also do. Read also the suggestion from a teacher colleague below!

To the teachers: If your school is closed on Saturday during the eclipse, please do not hesitate to lend the simple equipment needed to your astronomy dedicated students.

You will find a full describtion of how and what to measure in our separate chapters in the above mentioned text on the Web.

Remember : a successful effort will give us the unique chance - probably for the first time among amateurs/students - to measure the Moon's distance by means of solar eclipse.

If you get clouded out - be aware of that we plan to publish simultaneous CCD pictures during the eclipse itself.

More details will be published here on Astronomy On-Line later this week. This includes the software needed for the 3-D method.

CCD equipped partners, please give us a link!

Please do not forget to email your solar eclipse results as soon as possible, this makes it easier for us to publish the summary report many of you are waiting for.

Best greetings, and looking forward to hearing from you!

European Student Project Group

An `easy' way to determine the fraction of the solar eclipse

Here are some additional ideas about the observations of the Solar Eclipse on October 12.

If you use the binocular method, you can draw the circle of the uneclipsed sun and the outline of the eclipsed sun. Later you can cut out and weigh the two areas and determine the fraction.

Note that it is rather easy (sine and cosine) from this to determine the angular separation of the Sun and Moon centers.

It is also possible to determine the relation between these parameters and the `Height to Width' ratio mentioned on the Solar Eclipse Home Page.

Palle Dickow
Physics Teacher (Soroe Academy High School, Denmark) and
Leader of Soroe Akademi Group.

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