Total Solar Eclipse of 2006 March 29
The total Solar eclipse of 4th December 2002 was seen by plenty, but probably not as many people as had been present in 2001. One problem was the weather. But especially the observers in the outback will never forget the unusually large looking Sun surrounded by the shadow of the Moon and of course the corona. See this picture taken by my friend Olivier Staiger, who observed the event near Woomera, Australia. You can also watch the replay of the live webcast by Exploratorium.
The next total solar eclipse will take place on 23rd November 2003. But this total solar eclipse will only be seen from Antarctica. To get more information about this eclipse, follow this link to the special website, provided by Fred Espenak of NASA/GSFC.
Another opportunity to see the Sun totally eclipsed will be on 8th April 2005, in the middle of south Pacific. But this totality will last just 42 seconds at most, as this is a hybrid eclipse. For serious(?) comments about these eclipses and more, just take a look at Olivier Staiger's website. But if you still say something like "No way!" to 2003 and '05, the next one looks much more promising:
On Wednesday, 29th March 2006, the shadow of the Moon will sweep a band starting from Brazil, through Atlantic Ocean, Gold Coast of Africa, Saharan Desert, Mediterranean Sea, Turkey, Black Sea, Georgia, Russian Federation, northern shores of Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan; ending in Mongolia. The duration of totality will be less than 2 minutes near the sunrise and sunset limits, but will be as long as 4 minutes and 7 seconds in Libya, at the moment of greatest eclipse. The path of totality will be 180 kilometers wide at that moment.
The partial phases will be witnessed by all of Europe. All Asia west of Yakutsk, Mongolia, central China and Myanmar, and north of the line joining Bombay and Calcutta will see some of the Moon in front of the Sun. Also, only the southeastern parts of Africa will miss the partial eclipse.
For me, this means "Eclipse at home, take #2", another 3 minutes 46 seconds midday darkness. I live in Bursa, Turkey and for the second time the umbra will pass as close as 500 kilometers. - Some luckier guys in Tokat, Amasya and Sivas will just have to raise their heads for their second totality. For the Europeans who choose to witness the total eclipse, it means a Mediterranean holiday and an early spring.
The maps of totality include the Universal Time of maximum eclipse, duration of totality and the altitude of the eclipsed Sun for every 6 minutes in maps 2, 3, 4, 9; 2 minutes in maps 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and the sunrise limit in map 1. The plotting error of these points can be of several kilometres, so consult to the listed coordinates for planning observations.
More plans of the Turkish cities in totality will be added.
If you are not satisfied with the maps of the umbral path, or you want to study on more detailed maps; you can use these coordinates. Data calculated by Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC.
As the total eclipse will be seen from Brazil to Mongolia, the sky at totality will change dramatically from place to place. 4 figures of the sky at totality were drawn for the chosen locations in the path of totality. These are:
In these all-sky maps, North is at top and East is to the left. The limiting magnitude is chosen to be +2.5. This may seem bright, especially to the ones that has not witnessed a total solar eclipse. But the number of stars one gets to see during totality is generally much less, because of the short duration and bright sky. But, do not forget that the sky at totality is usually told to be like the twilit sky about 35-40 minutes after sunset. (But in fact it is like no other sky.)And also in that little time of totality, one looks at the corona, instead of other dim stars that can be seen any other time! I had spent 10 seconds to find Regulus (mag. +1.36) near the Sun and Venus in 1999.
The easiest object to see will be Venus (mag. -4.3) at the greatest western elongation; visible in the path west of Georgia. It can be seen much earlier than the beginning of totality. Mercury (+0.9) 25 degrees west of the Sun will also be visible during totality.
Jupiter (mag. -2.4), Rigil Kent (mag. -0.28), Hadar (+0.61) Arcturus (-0.05), Spica (+0.98) and maybe Crux will only be seen from Brazil. Antares (+1.06), Fomalhaut (+1.17), Vega (+0.03), Altair (+0.76) and Deneb (+1.25) may be seen in Africa and Brazil. But Achernar (+0.46) will only be up for Africa.
The brightest star Sirius (mag. -1.44) will be seen in the path east of Central Anatolia. Betelgeuse (+0.4v), Rigel (+0.18), Capella (+0.08), Aldebaran (+0.87) and a dim Mars (+1.2) in Taurus will be already up for Turkey and Georgia. Castor (+1.58) and Pollux (+1.16) may also be seen due east. Procyon (+0.40) and Saturn (+0.1) will be close to the horizon, like Sirius. Fomalhaut, Vega and Altair will be low or already set.
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Latest Update: 20030122
Latest Update: 20030122
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