How To Time A Partial Solar Eclipse!
In 2017 I had some disappointed people who downloaded the app, did not plan to get to the path of totality and thought it would help them time the partial eclipse at their observing position. Unfortunately, for that eclipse, the app would only work for the path of the totality. But I read all of those comments and I understood the desire, so I designed and developed a way to have Solar Eclipse Timer properly time a partial eclipse. I am really excited about the NEW Partial Eclipse Timing Mode!
The initial organization is the same as timing a total eclipse. You should watch the App Tutorial Video. You should Do A Device Sound Check when you first get the app and repeat the Device Sound Check on eclipse day. For the eclipse you are planning to observe, you need select it from the list on the Select An Eclipse To Time screen. This will load the eclipse data set into the app.
After you have done the above preliminary setup and you have arrived at your pre-determined eclipse observation site, you are ready to time the eclipse with me as your guide. It only takes Two Taps to be ready!
1 - Tap to Geolocate to get your position. (the app will calculate your 2 contact times and mid-eclipse)
2 - Tap to Load the Times into the Partial Eclipse Timer. That's it, the app is armed and I will guide you through the entire eclipse!
You will get system level notifications that will warn you to open the app when an eclipse event is about to occur. When these notifications occur, open the app, you will see how the eclipse has progressed and you should prepare for the observation to be announced.
The partial eclipse timer screen will display the Maximum Percent Coverage For Your Position and then display the Progression of the Percent Coverage up to the maximum and then display the percent as it goes back down.
See the maps below. The app will work for the entire continent of South America for 2019 and 2020 and the entire continent of North America for 2024!
The app will do audible countdowns for 1st Contact (eclipse begins), Max Eclipse (middle of the partial eclipse), 4th Contact (eclipse ends). There WILL NOT be a TOTALITY! When positioned for a partial eclipse you are NOT in the path of the umbra.
***YOU MUST USE EYE PROTECTION AT ALL TIMES DURING A PARTIAL ECLIPSE!!***
I emphasize enjoying other aspects of a total eclipse in addition to totality, so a unique feature of my app is reminding you to observe for what are called the Partial Phase Phenomena at the appropriate points in the eclipse. In the Partial Eclipse Mode, Solar Eclipse Timer are announcements are adjusted based on the maximum depth of the partial eclipse you will achieve. There are some phenomena that simply can't be observed if the eclipse is not deep enough, so some announcements would not be useful so they are eliminated. But whatever phenomena you can observe will still be fun! These are interesting things that occur because the Moon is moving across the face of the Sun. Again depending on the depth of you eclipse, there will be multiple reminders during the partial phases to observe for the change in temperature. You will be told when it is a good time to take pinhole projection pictures of the crescent Sun. There is a reminder to look at the effect of sharp and fuzzy shadows cast to the ground. Late in the eclipse, you will be told to look for changes in the behavior of animals. If you are observing at a very deep partial eclipse, you will be reminded to concentrate on the wondeful and eerie change in ambient lighting around you. However, I must say, if you plan to be loacted this deep into a partial eclipse, I implore you to make the effort to get to the path of totality. You are only a few miles away for the path! There are no announcements for shadow bands in the partial eclipse mode. A video that reviews the partial phase phenomena is located here.
If you use my app you will enjoy as much of a partial eclipse as possible. If you watch my YouTube videos you can be an eclipse expert and help your family and friends appreciate the eclipse. I am happy to have the chance to guide you through it and help you enjoy it.
Copyright 2002 - 2019 Gordon Telepun and Foxwood Astronomy, LLC
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