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Total Solar Eclipse 2006

Today, 29 March 2006, the Moon's shadow swept over the Earth during the 4th total solar eclipse of this century. The path of totality began in south America, crossed the Atlantic to Africa, where it travelled over the northern part of the continent. It went on to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Turkey, after which it passed through central Asia to end in Mongolia.

The Eclipse in Benin

The eclipse during totality

A team of students and coordinators from the Observatoire de Paris observed the eclipse from Benin in west Africa.  At the observing location in Savalou, Benin, maximum totality occured at 9:18:27 UT.  The image on the right was taken during totality with the solar corona clearly visible.

The Eclipse Path

A partial eclipse was visible from the whole of Europe, western Asia and most of Africa. For observers in Europe, the percentage of the solar disk that was covered by the Moon, increased towards south-eastern Europe.  For the ESA establishments across Europe the maximum percentage of the solar disk that was covered is:

Location

Solar disk
Coverage

Time of
Max (UT)

ESAC Villafranca, Spain

24.6%

10:12

ESA Headquarters Paris, France

22.6%

10:32

ESTEC Noordwijk, Netherlands

21.5%

10:39

ESOC Darmstadt, Germany

30.0%

10:41

The maximum duration of the eclipse occured over Libya and lasted 4 minutes, 7 seconds. Several locations along the path of totality are:

Time of
Max (UT)

Location

Duration of totality

08:35:24

Brazil - Start of Eclipse

1m 54s

09:08:39

Sekondi-Takoradi (Ghana)

3m 25s

09:18:27

Savalou (Benin)

3m 40s

09:33:15

Gusau (Nigeria)

3m 51s

09:39:56

Zinder (Niger)

3m 14s

10:11:18

Libya - Greatest Eclipse

4m 07s

10:40:20

Bardiyah (Libya)

3m 58s

10:53:40

Kastellorizo (Greece)

3m 10s

10:59:45

Konya (southern Turkey)

3m 36s

11:10:42

Giresun (Black Sea south coast)

3m 17s

11:16:10

Zugdidi (Georgia)

2m 45s

11:39:19

Arkalyk (Kazakhstan)

2m 32s

11:46:54

Mongolia - End

1m 51s

Overview of eclipse path (left) and path of totality around greatest eclipse (right). Images courtesy NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Espenak and Anderson, 2004

The Eclipse in Greece

The eclipse during totality.
Credit: Jay M. Pasachoff/Williams College Eclipse Expedition.

The Greek island Megisti (also known as Kastellorizo) is in the south Aegean Sea, close to the coast of Turkey.  The Williams College Eclipse Expedition group under supervision of Jay M. Pasachoff observed the total eclipse from there and performed several experiments dedicated to imaging the Sun's corona.  Support observations were made by SOHO at the same time to compare the space based and ground based images of the Sun at the time of totality (See related link "Ground-based/SOHO view of the Eclipse").

At Megisti, totality occured around 10:53 UT and lasted for 3 minutes, during which time this picture was taken.

 


Last Update: 30 March 2006

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