content 12-December-2017 03:41:49

Annular Solar Eclipse 2006

On Friday 22 September, just over six months since the previous solar eclipse on 14 March 2006, an annular solar eclipse took place.

The annular phase was visible from a narrow path that only crossed land in the northern part of South America. The remainder of the ~14 000 km long path ran over the South Atlantic ocean.

The central path of the Moon's shadow started in Gyana and swept eastward across Suriname, French Guiana and just tipped the north of Brazil. In French Guiana, the central path also passed over ESA's launch site in Kourou, where the annular phase lasted over 5 minutes.

Greatest eclipse occured at 11:40:11 UT over the South Atlantic ocean, with the annular phase lasting 7 minutes 9 seconds and the Sun 66° above the horizon.  

Outside the central path, a partial eclipse was visible from South America, the eastern Caribbean, western and southern Africa and Antarctica.

Time (UT) Location Duration of
annular phase
09:48:00 Begin
09:51:00 Paramaribo (Suriname) 5m 01s
09:53:00 Cayenne (French Guiana) 5m 42s
11:40:11 Greatest Eclipse 7m 09s
13:31:00 End

Diagram of the full path of the annular solar eclipse (left) and the central path over South America (right).

Live from Kourou

A live webcast from the eclipse at the launch site in Kourou was provided by SEMs - a collaboration of the Physics department and the Computer Science department at the University of North Dakota.  Dr. Timothy Young and Dr. Ronald Marsh from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks ND, USA, were on site and their website with the live webcast is at http://sems.und.edu/frg.html (see also the related links on the right-hand side).  Note: for viewing their webcast, please read the details under the 'Software & plugins' tab on their site. 

All eclipse predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC.


Last Update: 25 September 2006

For further information please contact: SciTech.editorial@esa.int

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