Sunday, 16 February 2014

Lunar Eclipse coming soon

During the early morning hours of April 15th, there will be a total lunar eclipse. You can figure out what time to look using the following link to an online calculator:

Total lunar eclipses are great opportunities for a star party. This one will be in the early hours of the 15th (the night of the 14th). So if you happen to be working on your taxes that night, you might want to take a break and step outside to enjoy a tax-free view of the Moon in eclipse.

Friday, 31 January 2014

More 2016 Solar Eclipse planning

The total solar eclipse in 2016 is best observed from a moving platform such as a cruise ship. Land based observations will be hampered by travel requirements and the climate which indicates a high potential for clouds on eclipse morning (the only major land fall for this eclipse is near the start of the path).

I am going to be on board the Pride of America, chartered exclusively to see this eclipse. The Pride of America is a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship that normally does week long cruises around the Hawaiian Islands. Due to the proximity of the islands to the eclipse path this is an excellent choice. Details can be found at

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Eclipse 2016 Planning

Anyone who has studied the path of TSE2016 knows there are challenges to viewing it. Land based observations are very limited and fall in difficult to reach areas of Indonesia. (See Eclipse March 2016 information)

A few months ago I learned about a possible charter cruise out of Hawaii for the eclipse and contacted the organizers. They were attempting to gain the charter but were running into difficulties with the cruise line and getting corporate advertising support. At first it appeared they had given up on the concept but then later I was contacted that they were going to give it a try. They need to book as many cabins as possible at this time to achieve the charter.

If you are seriously thinking about the best option in getting to this eclipse, consider the cruise presented at Berman Astronomy Tours and send in a deposit soonest to secure your cabin. I will be there.

No Total Solar Eclipse in 2014, but …

There isn't a total solar eclipse this year, but there is something special going on. The Solar Eclipse Conference (SEC) will take place in New Mexico. It is scheduled to coincide with a partial solar eclipse that will be visible in the area two days before the main conference takes place.

Details about the conference can be found at

Participants in the SEC will be treated to a series of lectures and social gatherings, all focused on solar eclipses. Lectures range from the deeply scientific to exotic travel to the latest trends in eclipse mapping, education, and planning.

I will be there! Hope to see you there too.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Travel to Africa

I wish I was going with you.

Having been to Africa on several eclipse expeditions, here is some packing advice as you prepare yourself for a grand adventure.

Clothing: Pack light and loose clothing. You want it to breath and you will want to wear layers. During the evenings and nights it can be chilly. Select colors that are natural in order to blend in better on those days you are on safari.

Equipment: Beyond your camera rig, bring binoculars. The sky above will be awesome on clear nights when you are away from the cities. Also, they help when seeing animals in the distance.

Bring old clothing that you can leave behind. Buy new stuff while there and fill your luggage. The donated clothing will go a long way in making someone quite happy.

Clear sky! Bill

Monday, 20 May 2013

ASE 2013

The annular solar eclipse (ASE) in May 2013 presented a unique opportunity for those positioned along the path in Australia where the eclipse started. The opportunity was to see (photograph) the eclipsed Sun rising. Even though an annular eclipse is nothing compared with a total eclipse, capturing a view or image at sunrise spectacular based on the images shared by eclipse chasers. Several traveled a great distance for the event. And that was a gamble. Viewing an eclipse near sunrise or sunset requires clear sky not only above you but also along the horizon. While many encountered some clouds (some will say it added to the drama) the images appearing online are amazing.

Thanks to all that sent in images. They can be viewed at the following URL.

Also, a brilliant video was created through a team effort of Colin Legg and Geoff Sims which can be seen here.

If you have images to share, please send them to

Friday, 28 December 2012

Updates to the pages

You may not notice the changes. I will just say they were plentiful. Google maps API was updated some time ago and the version originally used at was based on an older version. Google informed all webmaster that the older version will soon be unavailable thus the coding the adventure began.

The original coding was a hack of the examples provided for google maps. As new tricks were learned they were applied and the result can be best described as a hack job. This coding run allowed me to look at all that code again and make some adjustments.

At the user interface level there are few changes you will notice - however; if you spot an error or problem in the code - please let me know so I can correct it!