Astronomy: Shadow Play

Most Americans have not seen a good solar eclipse since 1954, and after this week they will not see another until 1970. This week's performance, clouds permitting, will entertain most of North America. Saturday's show will start at dawn in Japan's northern island, Hokkaido, where the sun will rise with the moon already squarely in front of it. Then the tip of the moon's black, conical shadow will race northeast, crossing the Bering Sea and coming ashore in Alaska just south of the Yukon. West of Canada's Great Slave Lake, total eclipse will last for nearly 100 sec.

For observers who...

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