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Debate Omen? Partial Solar Eclipse Thursday Afternoon!

Susan Wismer and Mike Myers go to Sioux Falls tonight to debate Governor Dennis Daugaard on KELO-TV for his job. Rick Weiland, Larry Pressler, Gordon Howie, and Mike Rounds go to Vermillion tomorrow night for their first big broadcast Senate debate.

Partial solar eclipse, animation of lunar penumbra and terminator, October 23, 2014. From NASA!
Partial solar eclipse, animation of lunar penumbra and terminator, October 23, 2014. From NASA! (Time in UTC; subtract 5 hours for Central, 6 for Mou

The gods evidently see more portent in the Senate debate; they are throwing a pre-game eclipse party! The new moon's shadow hits Kamchatka at their Friday dawn, then slides across Alaska, Canada, the Lower 48, and Mexico throughout our Thursday.

According to the United States Naval Observatory, the partial eclipse begins in Vermillion at 4:23 p.m. Central, and maxes out just after 5:36 p.m., when the moon will obscure just about 49% of the sun. The moon will still be taking a bite out of the sun when the sun sets at 6:33 p.m. Predicted cloud cover for Vermillion tomorrow p.m.: 14%–17%.

Out in Spearfish, the eclipse begins just before 3:10 p.m. Mountain, just in time for the kids to get out of school and see all the freaky shadow effects. Spearfish eclipse max is at 4:28 p.m. Mountain with 53% solar obscuration. The moon scoots past the sun completely at 5:38, about 22 minutes before Spearfish sunset. Predicted cloud cover: 28%–33%.

Go see the eclipse (but how many times do we have to tell you: don't look directly at the sun!), then see who eclipses whom at the SDPB Senate debate!

Bonus Third-Grade Science/Halloween Humor:

—How does a deaf astronomer know what ghosts are saying?
—She reads the eek-lips.


  1. Kate 2014.10.22

    Is Rounds actually going to attend?

  2. mike from iowa 2014.10.22

    If the moon only obscures 47% of the sun its a sure bet Money Boo Boo and wingnuts will claim a sign from god and Mittens will run for Potus again in 2016.

  3. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.22

    Maybe we should call Nancy Reagan about this.

  4. Jana 2014.10.22

    X Governor Rounds. You recently brought in Huckabee and Santorum. Both men were early leaders in their last campaigns and ended up folding like cheap lawn chairs...what advice did they give you?

  5. grudznick 2014.10.22

    Did Ms. Wismer get a different hair-doo? The clothing choice tonight wasn't the best but she wasn't standing so did not have to pick a shape flattering item, just a color one. It was a poor choice. I did like the hair-doo a lot. Governor DD had a nice hair-cut too. Otherwise, his attire seemed the same as always. Kind of a blah navy suit, blue shirt and red striped tie. He could have been more flamboyant. I have ties I could lend him. Mr. Meyers was superb. Just superb. No changes suggested there.

  6. grudznick 2014.10.22

    I am sorry my hair-doo message should have been under a different blogging. I am for neat star and lunar things. The hair-doo comments about Governor Daugaard were to be under a blogging about the debate and governor elections where I wanted to point out my growing support for Mr. Meyers. I like him.

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