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Author Topic: Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea  (Read 441 times)

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corbinace

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Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea
« on: June 18, 2017, 09:16:30 AM »
Ok, there is going to be a solar eclipse on the 21st of August.
It will pass over Madras OR headed ESE.  https://www.facebook.com/NASASunScience/videos/1169635863083635/
I believe a solar eclipse has a kind of spot of darkness that passes over the landscape. I do not know the speed, but imagine it to be fairly fast.

Now here is the hair brained part...What if one were to be in the air as the eclipse approached and fly along with it until it passed by you and left you in the DUSK. (Yeah, well my mama thinks I'm funny)

What would you see on the ground? Maybe no more than a shadow like a cloud makes?  Or maybe it would be so big as to not let you see the edges?

If you were at a fair altitude, maybe 15,500 for me, would you see the edges well defined, or at all?

I know there are a good many sharp persons here. Have you done it?  Was it awesome, or a waste of fuel?  Potential problems.... like air traffic congestion from all of the PNF pilots participating? ;D

What do you think?  Please leave out the thoughts about my state of mind or lack thereof ;)


Edit; I was having one of those moments and accidentally typed Lunar instead of Solar.  Not once, but thrice. Argh!!!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 01:33:46 PM by corbinace »

Domenick

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Re: Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 07:46:50 AM »
Because the sun has a larger (much, much) diameter than the moon, the shadow of the moon is cast on the earth as a penumbra (kind of a half shadow lit by the limb of the sun), and an umbra (full shadow). Using the distances and diameters some trigonometry will reveal the umbra is about 144 NM in diameter. The shadow travels at about 1100 kts. The photo at the link below was taken from the Mir Space Station in 1999:
http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast161/Images/mir1999.jpg
Domenick
PA-28-161
Snohomish, WA, Harvey Field, S43

corbinace

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Re: Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 08:34:15 AM »
So, what I hear you saying is that I may be able to see the leading and trailing edge of the penumbra as an indistinct shadow as it overtook me. 

That sighting would last very minimally longer than eclipse as viewed from the ground. 

I thought the high desert plateau would give the best chance of seeing the edges, but it looks like even that would not be sharply defined.

I am thinking that it may be worth a shot even for this minimalistic viewing.

Thanks so much for the response. We are lucky to have such a repository of knowledge here.

Tim
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 08:39:05 AM by corbinace »

ColinFitzGerald

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Re: Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 09:24:37 AM »
I was at a rest stop just north of Yakima to view the total solar eclipse in 1979.  You can see the shadow of the moon racing across the landscape.  First, Mt. Raineer disappeared in the shadow, then the shadow passed over the ground where we were standing.  The shadow line between the umbra and penumbra is sharp.

Colin

SteveG

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Re: Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 09:40:49 AM »
And very fast at the outer ends of the eclipse path. In western Oregon, the shadow will be moving along at 2,955 mph!

I think it would be fun to watch from a plane, but better to be on the ground.
74 Piper Warrior
S43 Harvey Field
Snohomish, WA

will moffitt

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Re: Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 10:41:26 AM »
I would do it.  You need to fly anyway.

will

corbinace

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Re: Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 10:53:15 AM »
the shadow will be moving along at 2,955 mph!

So what's the problem there?  I can always pull the throttle back a bit to maintain station ;)

Dan_Root

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Re: Flying in and with a Solar eclipse hair brained idea
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2017, 07:11:22 AM »
Some friends are planning a camping trip to OR just for the eclipse.  Wife and I are going to try to go.  Looks like the actual event will only has about a minute.
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