Astronomical Observing and Photography - Joseph Cali

Joe Cali's Summer 2023
Astronomy and Astrophotography Newsletter

Hi everybody,
Happy New Year! 

Well spring was certainly a bit of a washout.  The highlight for me was the total lunar eclipse on November 8th. Observing from
the shores of Lake George with a friend, we had perfectly clear skies.

MORE PHOTOS:  https://joe-cali.com/eclipses/PAST/TLE20221108/

I have produced the Canberra Nightscape Photographers Handbook again for 2023 and for the last time.  I won't be producing this document from 2024 onwards. The handbook contains a write up about the potential bright comet ZTF 2022 E3 visible around mid-February.

A Summer Comet

Comet "ZTF 2022 E3" is going to be visible from southern NSW latitudes in early to mid-February. Prior to Feb 4th the comet is too far north and doesn't rise above our horizon.  After the 4th and until the 9th, it is low altitude in the north and fighting a large bright Moon. The best observing window for our region is the week or so between Feb 9th to 15th.  It's very easy to find being near the constellation of Taurus and passing right past the bright red planet Mars on Saturday Feb 11th.

There is a detailed finder chart and write up about the comet and how to find it in the nightscape handbook.

April 20th, 2023 Hybrid Solar Eclipse.  Partial from Canberra, total from Exmouth W.A.

A hybrid eclipse is one where the eclipse is annular in one part of the central path and total in others.  Next year's eclipse is a total eclipse as seen from the Cape Arid National Park around Exmouth, WA. Cape Arid is the only region in Australia where a total eclipse can be seen. It can also be seen as total from parts of Timor-Leste and Eastern Indonesia. The rest of the Australian continent will observe a partial solar eclipse.  Accommodation on the peninsula is very tight and has been difficult to secure for the past two years. It gets booked up as soon as it is released. Soft-top accommodation starts at around $550 for a minimum 6 night stay and hard-top packages range from $3000 to over $10000.  I have been to 14 total eclipses in far flung corners of the world and in my experience this has been one of the most difficult eclipses I've experienced to secure accommodation. Australia will experience another 4 total eclipses over the next 15 years in 2028, 2030, 2037, 2038. All these eclipses are visible as total from the eastern states over wide areas. One passes over Sydney, Another over the southern part of greater Brisbane. If you can wait for the later eclipses, then wait. If you want to try to find accommodation for next years eclipse, contact me and I'll point you in the direction of some resources to help.

From the ACT region, a partial eclipse will be observed on April 20. The eclipse will have a magnitude of 0.19 and an obscuration of 9.5%. 
:      the ratio of the overlap of the diameters of the Sun and Moon. About one fifth of the Sun's diameter will be covered.
is a measure of the Sun's area covered by the Moon expressed as a percentage. 
9.5% of the Sun's surface area will be covered.
Photo above: The late Bengt Alfredsson looking through a filter at
the 2013 annular eclipse Pilbara, near Newman, Western Australia

in the ACT [local time]
Eclipse begins:  1:30 pm
 Max   eclipse:  2:21 pm
 Eclipse  Ends:  3:11 pm

Eye safety:
Eclipse glasses and filters can be purchased from many recognised astronomy suppliers.
I have searched the web sites of many good astronomy retailers, those shown below sell solar filters.
They sell many solar filters, some specialised filters are designed to be used in combination with other filters. Call, tell them you
want a filter for white light solar observation and they will advise you on the correct product.
Safe filters must be certified to comply with the requirements of the international standard ISO 12312-2 for solar viewing filters.

I would avoid ebay, stick to bricks and mortar astronomy suppliers:
Some general information about observing solar eclipses safely can be found here on my website: https://joe-cali.com/eclipses/Eye_Safety/index.html

Eclipse path overlay 2023 generated by Xavier Jubier.

Total Solar Eclipses of 2028, 2030, 2037, 2038

Eclipse path overlays 2028, 2030, 2037, 2038 generated by Xavier Jubier.

Clear skies