Solar eclipses have been regarded as mystical ever since man started to become aware of his environment. In spite of the
fact the diameter of the sun is 400x that of the moon, its distance from earth is also approximately 400x that of the moon
and, as a result, they exhibit a very similar apparent diameter. When these two celestial bodies are in perfect alignment
with earth by forming a straight line, we see the moon virtually cover the sun from limb to limb, leading to a darkening
of the daytime skies with totality lasting a number of minutes. Although lunar eclipses are relatively very common,
solar eclipses are not only much more dramatic thanks to totality but also very rare. With a lunar eclipse where the moon
is covered by the earth's shadow, the portion of the world in darkness at the time of the eclipse is able to see the moon
go through the various stages of eclipse. In contrast, with a solar eclipse where the moon lies between the sun and earth,
an event which occurs on average 70 times per century, the shadow cast by the moon on earth represents the path of totality
which is never more than 200 miles wide and, inevitably, covers less than 0.5% of the planet's surface and frequently traverses
open waters and very remote locations near the poles. Furthermore, since the distance of the moon from earth is variable,
there exist occasions during a solar eclipse where the moon is slightly further away from the earth ("apogee") and is not
able to fully cover the solar disk, thus leading to an eclipsed solar disk where a small ring ("annulus") around the sun's
limb is visible, thus leading to an annular solar eclipse. The observation of a solar eclipse may be considered a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and fully justifies the dedicated collection of eclipse chasers who trek around the globe
marvelling a solar eclipse wherever it may occur.
Note: For an expanded presentation of totality with prominences, click here.
Note: For an expanded presentation of the diamond ring effect, click here.
Note: For an expanded presentation of the ethereal corona with solar disk, click here.
Note: For an expanded presentation of the eclipsed disk with prominences, click here.
Note: For an expanded time series, click here.
(Start of Totality)
(End of Totality)
332,900 x Earth
Mean Eq Diameter:
109.1 x Earth
149 million km
RA / Dec:
00h 31m 38s /
+03° 24' 47"
2h 57m 05s
Mar 29, 2006
13:55:35 - 13:56:03 UT+3
Kastelorizo Isl., Greece
(36.1483° N, 29.5933° E)
AP 160 f/7.5 StarFire EDF
Losmandy G-11 GEM
Canon EOS 300d
Baader ND-5 (full-aperture)
8 x (1/100 - 1/4 sec)
RAW image format
3072x2048 image size
Servo Mode with EC
RAW to TIFF (16-bit) Conv
Radial Blur (10 px)