Large Partial Eclipse of the Sun

On November 25, a rather large partial eclipse of the sun will be on view, but have to say that only for a relatively small audience. This will be the fourth time that a new moon will orbit between the sun and Earth to cause a solar eclipse in 2011, just one eclipse shy of the maximum for the number of solar eclipses in a given year. The first eclipse on Jan. 4 coincided with sunrise across Europe. On Friday, the moon’s penumbral, or outer, shadow will brush the southern belly of the Earth, initially touching down in the South Atlantic Ocean, about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) a southwest of Cape Town, but only managing to encompass the southern and western portion of South Africa, completely missing Lesotho and barely grazing the border of Namibia.

The sun will be seen rising with a dent in its upper right rim. The depth of this partial eclipse is greater than the three others that preceded it. At greatest eclipse, 90.5 percent of the sun’s diameter will be covered as seen from the place nearest to the shadow axis, at a point in the Bellingshausen Sea along the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.