LIVE Q&BA Hangout for the eclipse

By Phil Plait | May 20, 2012 4:39 pm

[UPDATE: The hangout’s over. Thanks to all who watched! I’ll have the YouTube video up as soon as I can!]

I know this is last minute, but I decided to do a live Hangout on Google+ to talk about the solar eclipse. I’ve embedded the video below if you want to watch. If you want to ask questions, go to the link above or send me something on Twitter. If you leave a comment here I won’t see it!

MORE ABOUT: eclipse, G+, Hangout, Q&BA

Comments (20)

  1. Charlie

    cloudy here in seattle…sux big time…

  2. Philip

    Try the Mt Hamilton webcam. It might catch something as the sun sets in the west.

  3. Feel bad for me cuz I didnt get to see it at all!!!! :(( Thanks for sharing Phil! LOVE YOU! <3

  4. Scott

    Are there links available to the virtual star parties and such that Scott Lewis mentioned?

  5. Waydude

    Wow! I’m looking at it right now in Salt Lake City! Ran all over town yesterday trying to find welders goggles and failed miserably.

    Then my daughter tells me this morning her teacher gave everyone in class eclipse glasses.


  6. It was cloudy here in Japan, but the clouds thinned out enough to be able to see it. Bad idea to do this, but I caught a glimpse of the total eclipse through the clouds as it thinned just enough to see anything. I used the solar glasses after that when it was bright enough to see anything through them. I even got some pictures of it with my iPhone through the glasses. How about that? Solar eclipse photos through an iPhone! I posted the photo here:

    I feel extremely lucky to have been able to see it. The forecast wasn’t looking good, but it turned out to be great. I’ve seen some amazing photos of the eclipse through the clouds. The effect is beautiful!

  7. EricJuve

    Thanks for the feed, it was totally cloud cover on the central coast of Oregon.

  8. Chris Kost

    Phil – that was great. We got a great view here in Casper, Wyoming, and my wife and 5 year-old loved it. We were outside for most of it, but we had your hangout on when we were inside – during dinner, quietly informing us in the background, etc. Thanks a million!

  9. Infinite123Lifer

    Much appreciated folks. Thumbs up!

    How many Ph’d’s? :) That was great.

    Got a little shady here in Washington through the clouds, other than that the QandBA was where it was at.

  10. Marlin

    The annular eclipse here in Carson City, Nv was awesome. The viewing conditions were perect.

  11. Larry

    Primo viewing here in Redding, Ca. There were some high, wispy clouds but they had no impact. I had my solar scope, binocs with filters, camera with a 300mm lens and filter, and #14 welders glass. Lots of pics to review and process. My first annular eclipse was a success!

  12. Dave

    While watching the eclipse and getting some photos, a family stopped where we were and were also looking. Candice (my daughter – also a science student) was nice enough to take one of the solar filters over to them so they could see the eclipse without burning their eyes.

    The mom asked if this was a solar eclipse, and I said yes.

    Then she asked the question of the day: “So a lunar eclipse is when the moon is on the other side of the sun?”

    I did answer her without laughing my butt off… so give me props for that.

    I, for one, would love to see the physics involved to get the moon on the other side of the sun…

  13. VinceRN

    Thanks for doing that. It was cool how more science folks just kept showing up, and the video that guy was streaming from LA was probably the best and most stable view available on the net.

  14. In Phil’s hometown of the Republic of Boulder, it was tough viewing conditions as lots of clouds on the horizon. I was hoping to catch a time-lapse of the partially eclipsed sun setting over Longs Peak and it re-appeared literally at the last minute. This time-lapse video was taken from the bus stop at Niwot road and 287 … if I had been just a little bit farther South, I probably would have been totally skunked. But still very cool to watch!

  15. AbsoluteZero

    Saw it in Minneapolis MN with perfect clear skies. Watched it mostly with 2 pairs of stacked sunglasses (bad idea, I know) and not looking for more than a few seconds at a time. It was an amazing sunset, looked like someone took a bite out of the sun as it sank into a horizon of red pink and blue. Thankfully the spots in front of my eyes went away. I hope we are so lucky with clear skies for the upcoming Venus transit (and I can find some proper eye protection).

  16. Zyggy

    I had my camera and tripod on my roof, had made a filter (actually 3) out of those anti-static bags hard drives are shipped in (they actually worked quite well), had a good dinner….and then the damn clouds rolled in. /pout

    I’m in Salt Lake City, and apparently some areas were able to see it, but there was a nice band of dark clouds *exactly* covering the sun from my vantage. Oh well. I’ll try again next time.

    I did get some neat sunset pictures.

  17. bad Jim

    The clouds rolled in at my beachside hilltop and I thought we were totally out of luck, but from time to time they thinned and we could look directly through them at the crescent sun. In that respect it couldn’t have been better. My brother, sister, brother-in-law and nephew all came out to watch. I had a filter, a mirror and a pinhole at hand, and more apparatus in reserve, but we could just, now and then, look straight at the sun. Near maximum the moon looked precisely centered.

    As frustrating as it was, it probably couldn’t have been better.

    At maximum the general level of illumination was greater than I’d expected. The colors were striking, much like what we get when there are wildfires in the vicinity, but not exactly remarkably dark. Of course it was cloudy and the sun was setting so it wouldn’t have been particularly bright otherwise.

  18. Messier Tidy Upper

    @13. Dave :

    I, for one, would love to see the physics involved to get the moon on the other side of the sun…

    You mean in apparent terms, ie., as we see it in the sky or in literal not-orbiting-the-Earth-anymore-positioning terms? One is quite a different proposition from the other! ūüėČ

    The former can happen when our Moon is up during the daytime and you spy it on one side of our Sun then later during the day the two bodies respective motions has shifted it to the other.

    The latter, yeah, not likely to occur for a very long number of aeons.

    Incidentally, our Moon is gradually drifting away from Earth and just may manage to escape its gravitational well altogether and become an independent planet at some very distant future date although whether our Sun ballooning into a Red Giant and probably engulfing both worlds allows this to happen is another story again.

  19. Last May 17th, 2012 Stuart and I drove from Ohio to Roswell, New Mexico 1382 miles to view the Ring of Fire Eclipse and it was very special,the local Roswell Astronomy Club came out,about 300 folks to watch this. Then this Tuesday,June 5th we watched the 2012 Venus Transit in Delaware, Ohio at the Delaware Dam from 6pm til sunset. It was very cloudy at 5pm and didn’t look good for us,then at 6pm,the clouds went away and it was a great view until sunset. I have a Lunt 60mm ha scope and it was beautiful to look at the transit with,a great scope. The two sights that we saw in May and June were spectacular and I will not be on earth when the next one comes in the 22nd century.


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