By: Geoff Gaherty
The sun will look like a ring of fire above some remote parts of the world next Tuesday (April 29) during a solar eclipse, but most people around the world won't get a chance to see it.
Whereas lunar eclipses occur only when there's a full moon, and solar eclipses only happen during a new moon. Half the world saw a lunar eclipse during the full moon on April 15. When a lunar eclipse occurs, it usually means there is also a solar eclipse at the preceding or following new moon.
Tuesday's solar eclipse is known as an "annular" — rather than "total" — lunar eclipse. That’s because Tuesday's eclipse will occur when the moon is close to its farthest distance from the Earth, making it too small to cover the sun completely. The resulting effect looks like a ring of fire, called an "annulus," appears around the silhouette of the moon. ['Ring of Fire' Annular Solar Eclipse of April 29, 2014 (Visibility Maps)]
But most people won't see the whole eclipse. The only place in the world where thisannular eclipse will be visible is a small area in Antarctica. However, partial phases of the eclipse will be visible in other places. Most of those areas are in the ocean — rarely traveled ocean, in fact — but the entire continent of Australia will get a good view.
The best view of the eclipse will be from the island state of Tasmania. From Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, the eclipse will begin with the moon taking a tiny nick out of the sun's edge at 3:51 p.m. local time (0551 GMT). Maximum eclipse will be at 5 p.m. (0700 GMT), and the sun will set at 5:17 p.m. (0717 GMT). The farther north you go in Australia, the less the moon will cover the sun. In Sydney, the eclipse will begin at 4:14 p.m. and will be at maximum — 52 percent covered — at 5:15 p.m. The sun will set in eclipse two minutes later.Skywatchers in the western parts of Australia will be able to see the end of the solar eclipse. In Perth, the eclipse begins at 1:17 p.m. (0517 GMT), is at maximum (59 percent) at 2:42 p.m. (0642 GMT), and ends at 3:59 p.m. (0759 GMT).
WARNING: Never look directly at the sun during an eclipse with a telescope or your unaided eye; severe eye damage can result. (Scientists use special filters to safely view the sun.)
Partial solar eclipses have the greatest potential for eye damage because at no time is the sun completely covered by the moon. The sun itself is no more dangerous during an eclipse. The danger comes from people's desire to look at it, to overcome the natural reflex that forces us to look away from the sun.
The safest way to view a solar eclipse is to project its image. The easiest way to do so is with a pinhole camera. The longer the projection distance from the pinhole to the viewing screen, the larger the sun will appear. Natural pinholes are often formed by gaps between tree leaves, covering the ground beneath with miniature eclipses. A small mirror on a window ledge can project a fine image on the ceiling or far wall, suitable for viewing by a whole room full of people.
You should never attempt to look directly at the sun without a proper solar filter, available from telescope stores, planetariums and science centers. This is especially true if you're viewing it through binoculars or a telescope. There is no way to create your own safe filter from ordinary materials, so don't risk it.
Editor's Note: If you live in the populated visibility path and snap an amazing picture of the April 29 solar eclipse, you can send photos, comments, and your name and location to managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was provided to Space.com by Simulation Curriculum, the leader in space science curriculum solutions and the makers of Starry Night and SkySafari. Follow Starry Night on Twitter @StarryNightEdu. Follow us @Spacedotcom,Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.
By: The Week
Ronald McDonald has replaced his passé overalls with a chic vest and pants combo, showing that just because you're a clown, you don't have to look like one.
The Associated Press reports it is all part of a new campaign by McDonald's to boost weak sales. Ronald left the spotlight a few years ago, keeping a low profile due to criticism from activists who thought he was peddling unhealthy food to children. Now he's back with a new look and an appreciation of social media: Ronald is going to become active on Twitter, using the hashtag #ronaldmcdonald to share photos and videos (according to the AP, Ronald will not have his own handle, at least not yet).
"Selfies…here I come! It's a big world and now, wherever I go and whatever I do…I'm ready to show how fun can make great things happen," the character said in a statement.
The world's most famous clown may be wearing new digs, but one thing that hasn't changed is his taste in footwear. "His iconic big red shoes will remain the same," McDonald’s said in a statement. Watch a video of Ronald's transformation below. --Catherine Garcia
BY SASHA GOLDSTEIN
Barefoot and wearing a black veil, the man dropped a large backpack shortly before being apprehended by police. The area is on high alert as commemorations for the victims of last year's bombing are underway Tuesday.
The area around the Boston Marathon finish line has been evacuated as cops investigate two suspicious backpacks left along Boylston Street.Ceremonies throughout the day commemorated the victims on the one year anniversary of the bombing at the site that killed three and injured more than 260 people.
Around 7 p.m., a barefoot man wearing a black veil and yelling “Boston Strong!” as he ran left one of the backpacks at the finish line near Boylston and Dartmouth, WBZ-TV reported.
The man was detained, and police have ordered media and bystanders to clear the area as the large black backpack is investigated.
Police confirmed just after 7:30 p.m. that the department is investigating the two backpacks.
A bomb squad is now on scene approaching the bag.
Two pressure-cooker bombs in backpacks were left near the finish line last April 15 and detonated around 2:49 p.m., killing and injuring scores of people and sending Boston into chaos.
JARED WICKERHAM/GETTY IMAGESBoston Police officers patrol a section of Boylston Street on their bikes while it is closed off to traffic prior to the flag raising ceremony commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings on Boylston Street near the finish line on April 15, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. Last year, two pressure cooker bombs killed three and injured an estimated 264 others during the Boston marathon, on April 15, 2013.
The annual marathon is scheduled for April 21 this year.
And although our older comment system will still be around, we've decided to pick up the social feed! Introducing, Blogging Blogger's very own comment box! #CheckIt