(Editor's note for 8 pm ET: Today's webcasts of the partial solar eclipse have concluded. A video of the eclipse is featured above. A wrap story will be posted to Space.com shortly.) Experts with the Slooh Community Observatory will host a live webcast of the partial solar eclipse set to occur on Oct. 23. FIRST PHOTOS: First Photos: The Partial Solar Eclipse of Oct. 23 . You can watch the eclipse webcast starting at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) directly through Slooh.com, or you can see it live in the window below:
Today's solar will last about three hours, as the moon appears to take a bite out of the sun. The October partial solar eclipse will begin at 5:07 p.m. EDT (2:07 p.m. PDT/2107 GMT), and be visible to potentially millions of skywatchers across North America.
The Slooh Community Observatory webcast will feature views of the partial solar eclipse from the Prescott Solar Observatory in Arizona, and feature commentary from solar scientist Lucie Green and Slooh astronomer Bob Berman, with Slooh's Geoff Fox acting as host. Viewers can ask questions during the webcast using the Twitter hashtag #sloohpartialeclipse.
NASA Webcast from Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Griffith Observatory Webcast
In addition to the Slooh webcast, the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California will provide live views of the partial solar eclipse from its historic site. That eclipse webcast will begin at 5 p.m. EDT (2 p.m. PDT/2100 GMT) and can be found here:
Finally, the University of Arizona's SkyCenter atop Mount Lemmon in Arizona will provide its own live views from the Steward Observatory. That webcast will begin at 3 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. MDT/1900 GMT), and can be found here:
WARNING: NEVER look a the sun through binoculars or a telescope without using safety filters! Serious eye injury can result. Safety eclipse glasses, and special solar telescope filters are vital for safe viewing of any type of solar eclipse.
If you do not have safety equipment, you can build a pinhole camera or a solar projector with binoculars to safely view an eclipse indirectly.
- Solar Eclipses: An Observer's Guide: Infographic
- How to Safely Observe the Sun: Infographic
- How to Safely Photograph the Sun: A Photo Guide
- CAUTION! - How to SAFELY Observe the Sun
- Safely See the Sun – Build a Shoebox Pinhole Camera
- Safely View an Eclipse
- Make a Safe Sun Projector with Binoculars
Comet Siding Spring's Flyby of Mars Webcasts
(UPDATE: The first Slooh webcast has ended. The next event will begin at 8:30 pm ET.)The Slooh Community Observatory will broadcast a double feature about Comet Siding Spring's close pass by Mars today (Oct. 19). The first Slooh webcast will start at 2:15 p.m. EDT (1815 GMT), and the second will begin at 8:30 p.m. EDT (0030 Oct. 20 GMT). Full Story: Comet Buzzes Mars in Once-in-a-Lifetime Flyby . You can watch the webcasts live in the window below:
Comet Siding Spring is due to make a close pass with the Red Planet, flying only 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) from Mars. Officials monitoring spacecraft orbiting Mars are maneuvering them into safe positions so that they will not experience any ill affects from the icy wanderer's dust.
The Virtual Telescope Project will also host a webcast on Oct. 19 starting at 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT). You can watch the webcast here: http://www.virtualtelescope.eu/webtv/ A window of the webcast will appear below before the start time as well.
Planet Definition Debate
If you're confused about what exactly a planet is, don't feel bad: Astronomers are still arguing over the term eight years after the International Astronomical Union (IAU) came up with a controversial new definition that demoted Pluto to "dwarf planet" status.
The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) is putting on an event tonight (Sept. 18) at 7:30 p.m. EDT (2330 GMT) that could help crystallize your views. The event, which will be webcast live in the window below, is called "What Is a Planet?" and features three different experts presenting their viewpoints on the term, and on the ongoing debate.