Shine Through: A total solar eclipse above Kentucky in the US in August last year. Col Maybury reckons it’s an “amazing coincidence”.
That is, the fact that themoon can“completely and exactly cover the Sun”,causing atotal eclipse.
The sun, he pointed out, is 1.4millionkilometresin diameter and 150 million kilometres from Earth. The moon is 3500kilometres in diameter and385,000kilometres from Earth.
Col, president of the Astronomical Society of the Hunter, said would experienceeighttotal solar eclipsesin the next century.
The next one, in 2028, will be a big one for Newcastle.The path of totality will fall across parts of theHunter,the entire Central Coast and Sydney.
This means large areas will experience atotal eclipse, which castsa shadowalmost as dark as night.
According to a map onthe website timeanddate苏州楼凤, areas of the Hunter that don’t experience the total eclipse will experience apartial eclipse, with80 per cent to 90 per cent of the sun covered by the moon.
The mapshows that thepath of totality will dissect Lake Macquarie on an anglefromSwansea toToronto, extending toCessnock and beyond. Areas to the south of this line will experience a total eclipse, while areas northwill experience a partial eclipse.
Dark pink shows the total-eclipse zone and light pink the partial-eclipse zone.
It’ssafeto say traffic will be quite busy that day [July 22, 2028] on the roads heading south from Newcastle into Lake Macquarie.
Col said apartial eclipse can last for about 90 minutes, but a total eclipse usually lasts forone to 7 minutes.
“Avid eclipsophiles hire jets and fly along the path,” hesaid, adding that this increases thetime they get to witness the spectacle.
The total eclipse map for 2028 on a larger scale.
Col has seen five eclipses –South in 2002,Turkey in 2006,China in 2009, Cairns in 2012 and the USin 2017.
“A real eclipse chaser has to have 20 under his belt,” he said.
Those who have seen 20 eclipses are named umbraphiles [ones who loveeclipses]. The umbra is the darkest part of the shadow of a total eclipse.
“I know a Swiss guy who has seen them at both poles and all over. There are oneor two eclipses per year, but all over the Earth.I also knew a guy who fell for a Russian girl online and went to Siberia to meet her parents. It was overcast,very dark andcold with snow all over,” Col said.
They hadn’t even known an eclipse was due to occur.
“As they entered the house, a gap came in the clouds andthe sun and moon wentinto totality.”
That’s one for the astrologerswho saya solar eclipse marksanew beginning.
Office FridgesOffice kitchensare hazardous places at the best of times, especially the fridges.
It’s a curious thing when lunchboxes of food are left for too long in the back of fridges.The words cross and contamination do come to mind.
A Topics spy sent us this message circulated at a Newcastle-based office last week.
“Who owns the bag in the fridge which contains prawns, salmon and an old salad? These seem to have been in the fridge for a number of days as they stink!” itsaid.
Fangs Out A snake captured in an esky. It wasn’t a happy chappy. It was “ready to attack”.
Topics reported last week thatMargaret O’Brien used an Aldi bag to movea diamond python off the road atMacquarie Hills, stopping it from being roadkill.
She’s been at it again. This time the snake was in her house, also in Macquarie Hills.
“Iopened my flyscreen door to go inside and wasmet with a snakelooking to get out.I caught it and put it in an esky.”
It wasa baby snake, which made herwonderwhere its siblings were.
She didn’t know the snake’s type, but she knew itwasn’t happy in the esky. Itsfangwereout “like it’s ready to attack”.
She’s a brave soul thatMargaret.