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November 25: Partial Eclipse of the Sun

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November 25: Partial Eclipse of the Sun

Thanksgiving night through the wee hours of the following morning will play host to the fourth and final solar eclipse of 2011, a partial eclipse. Don’t dust off those lawn chairs that have been stuffed away in your garage since the start of fall, though. North America is not situated to see any of the action.

Antarctica finds itself pretty much at the center of the visibility region for this eclipse. Along the edges of the visibility region are South Island of New Zealand, southernmost South Africa and Tasmania. The eclipse’s greatest coverage–a rather
substantial 90.4 percent–will be visible in a somewhat inaccessible region: just off the coast of Antarctica.

The eclipse begins 11:23 p.m., Eastern Time, reaches its greatest coverage at 1:31 a.m., and ends at 3:17 a.m.

You may be wondering how a solar eclipse can be seen at night. Aside from the fact that many of the areas where the the eclipse will be visible are on the other side from the world from us, much of Antarctica, where the view will be best, is currently approaching summer, and because of its polar latitude, is experiencing constant daylight. That means the Sun would be up there even if the local time were approaching midnight.

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