The total phase of an eclipse is accompanied by the onset of a rapidly darkening sky whose appearance approximates that of evening twilight 30 to 45 minutes after sunset. The effect presents an excellent opportunity to view planets and bright stars in the daytime sky. Such observations are useful in gauging the apparent sky brightness and transparency during totality. The Sun is in Libra and a number of planets and bright stars will be above the horizon for observers within the umbral path. Figures 10 and 11 depict the appearance of the sky from the western and eastern sections, respectively, of the South American path. Venus is usually the brightest planet and can actually be observed in broad daylight provided that the sky is cloud free and of high transparency (i.e. - no dust or particulates). During the Nov 1994 eclipse, Venus is only half a day past inferior conjunction and will be located a mere 5deg. west of the Sun. Look for the planet during the partial phases by first covering the eclipsed Sun with an extended hand. During totality, it will be almost impossible to miss Venus since it is so close to the Sun and will shine at a magnitude of mv=-4.0. Although two magnitudes fainter, Jupiter will also be well placed 11deg. east of the Sun and shining at mv=-1.7. Under good conditions, it may be possible to spot Jupiter 5 to 10 minutes before totality. Mercury is approaching eastern elongation on 6 Nov and is located 18deg. west of the Sun at mv=-0.1. Although a bit more challenging, it should still be easy to see provided skies are clear. Spica (mv=+0.7) is 4deg. south of Mercury which may be used as a guide to locate it. The most difficult of the naked eye planets will be Mars (mv=+0.7). It is located 85deg. west of the Sun, and 14deg. west of Regulus (mv=+1.35). Saturn is 115deg. east of the Sun and will be below the horizon for all observers in South America. Other stars to look for include Antares (mv=+0.9v), Arcturus (mv=-0.04), Alpha and Beta Cen (mv=-0.01 & mv=+0.6v), Canopus (mv=-0.72), Sirius (mv=-1.46) and Procyon (mv=+0.38).

The following ephemeris [using Bretagnon and Simon, 1986] gives the positions of the naked eye planets during the eclipse. Delta is the distance of the planet from Earth (A.U.'s), V is the apparent visual magnitude of the planet, and Elong gives the solar elongation or angle between the Sun and planet. Note that Jupiter is near opposition and will be below the horizon during the eclipse for all observers.

Planetary Ephemeris:   3 Nov 1994  14:00:00 UT    Equinox = Mean Date

Planet       RA        Dec        Delta      V  Diameter  Phase   Elong
           h  m  s  deg  '  "                       "              deg
Sun       14 33 59  -15-06-07    0.99193  -26.7  1934.9      -      -
Mercury   13 26 23  -06-48-50    0.92429   -0.1     7.3    0.47   18.5W
Venus     14 23  2  -19-46-46    0.27023   -4.0    61.8    0.00    5.4W
Mars      09 14 28   17 42 34    1.32296    0.7     7.1    0.89   85.3W
Jupiter   15 19 36  -17-31-09    6.36421   -1.7    30.9    1.00   11.2E
Saturn    22 32 52  -11-12-28    9.24022    0.2    17.9    1.00  114.8E

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