Don’t miss the prettiest total eclipse

It’s very unusual that our region sees two total eclipses in a year. Such a double whammy happens only a few times a century.

The first 2014 event unfolds this Monday night, April 14. It starts with the strange voodoo word “penumbra,” which all by itself makes television anchors mess up their eclipse announcements. Consulting a reference book beforehand, they think that the action starts with the beginning of the penumbral eclipse, just before 1 a.m. Tip: Pretend “penumbral” spells out the word “zero.” Nothing happens. Each year I create the astronomy section of the Old Farmers’ Almanac . . .

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