The path of the annular eclipse begins in the North Atlantic at 08:41 UT. Moving southeast, the shadow quickly reaches the northern coast of Spain and Portugal (08:51 UT). Bisecting the Iberian Peninsula, the shadow covers Madrid (08:56 UT), which lies near the centre line. The annular phase will last four minutes and 11 seconds from this capital city with 90 per cent of the Sun’s surface being obscured by the Moon.
From northern Portugal and central Spain, the Moon will be seen to pass in front of the Sun, although this time the Moon is slightly further away from us than average, due to its elliptical orbit, and doesn’t have sufficient width to cover the Sun entirely. So an annular eclipse will occur with the Sun briefly appearing as a ‘Ring of Fire’ in the morning sky.
After nightfall, the bright planet Venus is seen shining low in the southwest during evening twilight. Venus is close to the star Antares in the constellation of Scorpius on the evening of 16.
By the end of the month, the planet Saturn is visible low in the east-northeast just before midnight. The last quarter Moon will be close to the planet on the 26.
The Moon is New on 3, First Quarter on 10, full on 17 and Last Quarter on October 25.
Clive Jackson is the Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Tavira (Sitio do Malhão) and the Camera Obscura (next to the Castle in Tavira), specialising in education and public outreach.
Email: [email protected]