A look-forward to next year’s great eclipse. Here is the sky as seen in the middle of it, from the middle of the USA, at 2017 August 21, 18:25 Universal Time (1:25 PM Central “Daylight-Saving” Time).
The Moon and the Sun (shown in their positions over the week leading to the eclipse, as well as at eclipse moment itself) are exaggerated 4 times in size, so the star Regulus – only a degree from them – is not actually eclipsed itself but may be findable within the streamers of the Sun’s corona!
And here is a 3-D view of the planets’ motions in that August, and Earth’s sightlines toward them, to explain why they appear as they do, almost symmetrically on either side of the Sun in the eerily darkened sky:
These and other illustrations are for the pages on the 2017 cross-USA eclipse that will be part of the new edition of my Under-Standing of Eclipses, to be ready before long, I hope. It is because of working on them, and other becauses, that I neglected to remind you about the opposition of Saturn on June 3, and Mercury’s morning appearance, at its modest highest yesterday. But you have all this in Astronomical Calendar 2016. (If you don’t, there is now a limited quantity left.)