Press Release

The June 10 Solar Eclipse

By SpaceRef Editor
June 9, 2002
Filed under ,

A partial eclipse of the Sun will grace the skies of much of North
America during the late afternoon and evening hours of June 10, 2002.
The eclipse will be particularly dramatic in the western and
southwestern United States, where more than half of the Sun’s disk will
be blocked by the Moon. The eclipse will be visible from every state
except Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey. Locations along the eastern
seaboard, such as New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, and
Miami, will not be able to see the eclipse.

Solar eclipses occur when the Moon moves directly between the Sun and
Earth. On June 10, the Moon will start to pass in front of the Sun
8:30 p.m. in the Eastern time zone, about 7:30 p.m. in the Central time
zone, between 6:15 and 6:25 in the Mountain time zone, and between 5:00
and 5:15 p.m. in the Pacific time zone.

For viewers in the eastern, midwestern, and south-central states, the
Sun will set while the eclipse is still in progress, which offers
photographers a splendid opportunity to take spectacular pictures.
Viewers in the north-central and far western states will be able to
the entire eclipse. Maximum eclipse (when the highest percentage of
the Sun’s diameter is blocked by the Moon) occurs about one hour after
the eclipse starts, and the eclipse ends roughly an hour after maximum.
Please consult the table at the end of this press release, or visit Fred
Espenak’s website listed near the bottom of this press release, for the
exact beginning, maximum, and end eclipse times for your area.

“Viewers in the east won’t notice any unusual darkening of the sky
during the eclipse. But during the period of maximum eclipse on the
West Coast, the sky will appear a little darker than it would normally
be, and shadows will be sharper,” says Robert Naeye, Editor of Mercury
magazine, which is published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
(ASP). “People looking at the Sun near maximum eclipse will definitely
notice a dramatic change. It will appear as if an invisible monster has
taken a huge bite out of our Sun.”

Naeye cautions, however, that it is extremely dangerous to look directly
at the blinding light of the Sun, especially during a partial eclipse.
“A partially-eclipsed Sun is just as dangerous to look at as a non-eclipsed
Sun,” he says.

“The Sun’s visible and invisible rays can cause serious damage to
sensitive eye tissue, often without the person being immediately aware
of it. When an eclipse happens, astronomical enthusiasm can
overwhelm common sense, and people, especially children, sometimes
stare at the Sun for too long,” adds Andrew Fraknoi, Director of the
ASP’s Project ASTRO.

One can view an eclipse safely by projecting an image of the Sun. One
easy way is to make a pinhole projector. Take two pieces of cardboard or
thick paper. Prick a pinhole in one. Then stand with your back to the
Sun, and let sunlight pass through the hole and onto the other sheet.
You’ll get a small but distinct inverted image of the eclipsed Sun. Try
using different sized holes. A large hole gives a bright but fuzzy image

of the Sun, while a small hole yields a dim but sharp image.

Viewing the Sun directly will provide more dramatic views. To do so,
you’ll need a filter that blocks not just visible light but also
and infrared light. Stacked sunglasses, exposed film, and smoked glass
are NOT okay! A #14 arc-welder’s glass, costing just a few dollars, is a
safe filter (but it has to be #14 and not a lower number). Or you can
special aluminized polyester filters available at many telescope stores
planetariums; but make sure you obtain them from a reliable source. If
you use any of these filters, do not use them with binoculars or a

Despite these words of caution, Naeye emphasizes that this will be a
dramatic sky event. “People should take full advantage of this eclipse
because it’s the last solar eclipse of any kind visible from the United
States until April 8, 2005. On that date, people in the southern and
mid-Atlantic states will see a partial solar eclipse. But for much of the
States, the June 10 eclipse is the last solar eclipse of any kind for
the next decade. Because the eclipse will occur late in the day, make sure
you have an unobstructed view to the west, where the Sun will be

For a very narrow strip stretching almost all the way across the Pacific
Ocean, from Indonesia to the west coast of Mexico, viewers will see a
rare annular solar eclipse, in which the Sun appears as a dazzling ring
(or “annulus”) of light around the silhouetted Moon. In this strip, the
Moon’s disk will lie totally in front of the Sun, but because the Moon
will be near the far part of its elliptical orbit around Earth, its disk
isn’tquite big enough to block the entire disk of the Sun. As a result,
on Earth see an annular solar eclipse instead of a total solar eclipse.

Comet discoverer and author David H. Levy, a member of the ASP Board
of Directors, is working on a doctorate about Shakespeare and
astronomy. He believes that the June 10 solar eclipse belongs to the
same series of eclipses, saros cycle 137, that Shakespeare had in mind
when he wrote in King Lear, “These late eclipses in the Sun and Moon
portend no good to us.” In October 1605, Londoners saw 90% of the Sun
covered by the Moon. That eclipse was preceded by a lunar eclipse also
visible from London; the same eclipse was visible from the Pacific and
Southwestern U.S. before sunrise on May 26, 2002.

Please check your local amateur astronomy club, science museum, or
planetarium to see if they are offering public viewing sessions for the

To download images of a partial solar eclipse, please visit One photo was taken by
Phil Harrington, author of the book “Eclipse! The What, Where, When,
Why & How Guide to Watching Solar & Lunar Eclipses.”
Astrophotographer and author Dennis Mammana of took
the other photo.

To see the times when the June 10 eclipse will be visible from your
visit Fred Espenak’s NASA Eclipse Home Page website at:

Local eclipse times (p.m.) for selected U.S. cities:

First column: Eclipse Begins

Second column: Maximum Eclipse

Third column: Eclipse Ends

Fourth Column: Percentage of Sun’s Disk Blocked at Maximum

Albuquerque 6:22  7:22  8:16  63.0
Anchorage 3:35 4:28 5:20 28.3
Atlanta 8:29 8:45s sets 21.1
Austin, TX 7:28 8:24 8:29s 65.2
Billings 6:16 7:09 7:58 40.9
Birmingham, AL 7:29 7:54s set 32.6
Boise 6:10 7:11 8:07 52.4
Buffalo 8:31 8:50s set 16.6
Charlotte 8:29 8:34s set 7.0
Chicago 7:28 8:10 8:22s 30.5
Cincinnati 8:29 9:00s set 30.2
Cleveland 8:30 8:56s set 23.4
Columbus, OH 8:29 8:57s set 26.4
Dallas 7:27 8:22 8:32s 58.4
Denver 6:21 7:16 8:08 50.8
Des Moines 7:26 8:12 8:45s 36.3
Detroit 8:30 9:05s set 25.4
Harrisburg, PA 8:30 8:33s set 3.6
Honolulu 1:04 2:42 4:06 51.9
Houston 7:29 8:19s set 62.8
Indianapolis 7:29 8:09s set 33.1
Kansas City 7:26 8:15 8:41s 42.4
Las Vegas 5:15 6:20 7:19 69.0
Little Rock 7:28 8:18 8:19s 49.5
Los Angeles 5:13 6:22 7:23 77.4
Louisville 8:29 9:03s set 33.6
Memphis 7:28 8:11s set 45.4
Milwaukee 7:28 8:08 8:27s 28.4
Minneapolis 7:26 8:08 8:48 29.4
Nashville 7:29 8:01s set 36.1
New Orleans 7:29 7:58s set 41.0
Oklahoma City 7:26 8:19 8:42s 53.0
Omaha 7:25 8:13 8:53s 39.1
Phoenix 5:19 6:23 7:21 72.5
Pittsburgh 8:30 8:46s set 17.0
Portland, OR 5:03 6:06 7:05 53.4
Rapid City 6:21 7:11 7:58 39.8
Sacramento 5:07 6:16 7:17 69.2
St. Louis 7:28 8:14 8:21s 39.2
Salt Lake City 6:15 7:15 8:10 55.0
San Antonio 7:28 8:25 8:30s 68.0
San Diego 5:15 6:24 7:24 79.6
San Francisco 5:06 6:16 7:19 72.1
San Jose 5:07 6:17 7:19 72.7
Seattle 5:02 6:04 7:00 48.2

An “s” after the maximum eclipse time means the Sun sets before the
maximum amount of Sun blockage occurs. If the “s” occurs after the
Eclipse Ends time, it means the Moon will still be blocking the Sun when
the Sun sets.

Eclipse Predictions courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space
Flight Center.

SpaceRef staff editor.