Solar eclipse of August 11, 1999

A total solar eclipse occurred on 11 August 1999 with an eclipse magnitude of 1.0286. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across Earth's surface, with the partial solar eclipse visible over a surrounding region thousands of kilometres wide. The path of the Moon's shadow began in the Atlantic Ocean and, before noon, was traversing the southern United Kingdom, northern France, Belgium, Luxembourg, southern Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and northern FR Yugoslavia (Vojvodina). The eclipse's maximum was at 11:03 UTC at 45°06′N 24°18′E / 45.1°N 24.3°E / 45.1; 24.3 in Romania (next to a town called Ocnele Mari near Râmnicu Vâlcea);[1][2][3] and it continued across Bulgaria, the Black Sea, Turkey, northeastern tip of Syria, northern Iraq, Iran, southern Pakistan and Srikakulam in India and ended in the Bay of Bengal.

Solar eclipse of August 11, 1999
Solar eclips 1999 4 NR.jpg
Totality from France
SE1999Aug11T.png
Map
Type of eclipse
NatureTotal
Gamma0.5062
Magnitude1.0286
Maximum eclipse
Duration143 sec (2 m 23 s)
Coordinates45°06′N 24°18′E / 45.1°N 24.3°E / 45.1; 24.3
Max. width of band112 km (70 mi)
Times (UTC)
Greatest eclipse11:04:09
References
Saros145 (21 of 77)
Catalog # (SE5000)9506

It was the first total eclipse visible from Europe since 22 July 1990, and the first visible in the United Kingdom since 29 June 1927.

ObservationsEdit

 
The eclipse as seen from France
 
Interactive map of the path of the Umbral Shadow

Because of the high population densities in areas of the path, this was one of the most-viewed total solar eclipses in human history;[4] although some areas in the path of totality (mainly in Western Europe) offered impaired visibility due to adverse weather conditions.

Some of the organized eclipse-watching parties along the path of totality set up video projectors on which people could watch the Moon's shadow as it raced towards them.[5] There was substantial coverage on International TV stations of the progress of the eclipse shadow. The Moon's shadow was also observed from the Russian Mir space station; during the eclipse, video from Mir was broadcast live on television.

  • The BBC concentrated its coverage efforts on the first landfall of the shadow across the western end of Cornwall (from St Ives to Lizard), which was packed with an extraordinary number of visitors, although Cornwall did not have nearly as many as expected leading to many specially organised events being left with very small attendance. The veteran amateur astronomer, broadcaster and eclipse-watcher Patrick Moore was brought in to head a live programme, but the eclipse was clouded out. BBC One also produced a special version of their Balloon Idents for the event. The BBC did not have a presence at Goonhilly on the Lizard Peninsula, one of the few places in Cornwall where the clouds parted just in time for the total eclipse to be visible. There was extensive cloud in Perranporth which parted just in time, allowing the very large crowd that filled the beach and hillsides to witness the event.
  • Some of the best viewing conditions were to be had mid-Channel, where ferries were halted in calm conditions to obtain an excellent view. Hundreds of people who gathered on the island of Alderney also experienced the event.
  • A gathering of several thousand people at the airport in Soissons, France, which was on the path of totality, were denied all but a few fleeting glimpses of the eclipse through the overcast sky. The clouds cleared completely just a few minutes after the eclipse.
  • In contrast, the overcast sky in Amiens, France, where thousands had gathered, cleared only minutes before the eclipse began.
  • Further inland, viewing conditions were also perfect at Vouziers, a French country town gridlocked by Belgian cars from day-visitors. The patchy cloud covering cleared a short time before the shadow arrived. Some photos from Vouziers were used on the subsequent BBC Sky at Night programme.
  • The San Francisco Exploratorium featured a live webcast from a crowded town square in Amasya, Turkey.
  • Doordarshan, the national TV channel in India, broadcast live coverage from Srikakulam, hosted by the TV personality Mona Bhattacharya.
  • A Bulgarian Air Force MiG-21 two-seater was used by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences to study the solar corona. The MiG-21, flying at 1600–1700 km/h (M=1,4-1,5) at an altitude of 13,000 m, was able to stay in the Moon's umbra for 6 min. The photographer, an air force pilot, used two film cameras, both fitted with 200 mm lenses and infrared filters, and one Digital8 video camera.
  • Hungary's most popular tourist destination, Lake Balaton and its surrounding area, fell into the path of the eclipse entirely, which made the area even more popular for that day. The motorway leading there was so crowded, many people had to watch the eclipse while caught in a traffic jam.
  • One French and two British Concordes briefly followed the eclipse with tourists on board.[6]
  • The BBC was filming one of its episodes for its TV series Airport that day and, during the show, resident press officers Russell Clisby and Steve Meller took photographs of the eclipse at Heathrow Airport, as well as Aeroflot supervisor Jeremy Spake witnessing the eclipse on a special charter flight.
  • RTS, the national public broadcaster of Serbia, urged people to remain inside, citing dangers to public health. This caused the streets of all Serbian cities, towns and villages to be entirely deserted during the eclipse, with many opting to watch it on TV instead.[7]
  • The BMJ a month after the eclipse reported only 14 cases of eye damage from improper viewing of the eclipse, a number lower than initially feared. In one of the most serious cases the patient had looked at the Sun without eye protection for twenty minutes, but overall the public health campaign had succeeded.[8]

GalleryEdit

Notable times and coordinatesEdit

 
Animated path
 
Special 2,000 lei note made for the 1999 total eclipse of the Sun, showing the eclipse path over the map of Romania
Event Time (UTC) Coordinates[9]
1st penumbral contact with Earth's surface (P1) 08:26:17
1st external umbral contact (U1) 09:29:55 41°2.0′N 65°5.4′W / 41.0333°N 65.0900°W / 41.0333; -65.0900
2nd internal umbral contact (U2) 09:30:53 43°0.1′N 57°55.8′W / 43.0017°N 57.9300°W / 43.0017; -57.9300
Greatest eclipse 11:03:07 45°4.8′N 24°17.3′E / 45.0800°N 24.2883°E / 45.0800; 24.2883[10]
3rd internal umbral contact (U3) 12:35:33 19°39.7′N 80°20.4′E / 19.6617°N 80.3400°E / 19.6617; 80.3400
4th external umbral contact (U4) 12:36:26 17°33.5′N 87°17.1′E / 17.5583°N 87.2850°E / 17.5583; 87.2850
4th penumbral contact with Earth's surface (P4) 13:40:08

Related eclipsesEdit

Eclipses of 1999Edit

Solar eclipses 1997–2000Edit

This eclipse is a member of a semester series. An eclipse in a semester series of solar eclipses repeats approximately every 177 days and 4 hours (a semester) at alternating nodes of the Moon's orbit.[11]

Solar eclipse series sets from 1997–2000
Descending node   Ascending node
Saros Map Gamma Saros Map Gamma
120
 
Chita, Russia
1997 March 09
 
Total
0.91830 125 1997 September 02
 
Partial (south)
-1.03521
130
 
Total eclipse near Guadeloupe
1998 February 26
 
Total
0.23909 135 1998 August 22
 
Annular
-0.26441
140 1999 February 16
 
Annular
-0.47260 145
 
Totality from France
1999 August 11
 
Total
0.50623
150 2000 February 05
 
Partial (south)
-1.22325 155 2000 July 31
 
Partial (north)
1.21664
Partial solar eclipses on July 1, 2000 and December 25, 2000 occur in the next lunar year eclipse set.

Saros 145Edit

This solar eclipse is a part of Saros cycle 145, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours, containing 77 events. The series started with a partial solar eclipse on January 4, 1639, and reached a first annular eclipse on June 6, 1891. It was a hybrid event on June 17, 1909, and total eclipses from June 29, 1927, through September 9, 2648. The series ends at member 77 as a partial eclipse on April 17, 3009. The longest eclipse will occur on June 25, 2522, with a maximum duration of totality of 7 minutes, 12 seconds. All eclipses in this series occurs at the Moon's ascending node.

Series members 10–32 occur between 1801 and 2359
10 11 12
 
April 13, 1801
 
April 24, 1819
 
May 4, 1837
13 14 15
 
May 16, 1855
 
May 26, 1873
 
June 6, 1891
16 17 18
 
June 17, 1909
 
June 29, 1927
 
July 9, 1945
19 20 21
 
July 20, 1963
 
July 31, 1981
 
August 11, 1999
22 23 24
 
August 21, 2017
 
September 2, 2035
 
September 12, 2053
25 26 27
 
September 23, 2071
 
October 4, 2089
 
October 16, 2107
28 29 30
 
October 26, 2125
 
November 7, 2143
 
November 17, 2161
31 32 33
 
November 28, 2179
 
December 9, 2197
 
December 21, 2215
34 35 36
 
December 31, 2233
 
January 12, 2252
 
January 22, 2270
37 38 39
 
February 2, 2288
 
February 14, 2306
 
February 25, 2324
40
 
March 8, 2342

Metonic seriesEdit

The metonic series repeats eclipses every 19 years (6939.69 days), lasting about 5 cycles. Eclipses occur in nearly the same calendar date. In addition, the octon subseries repeats 1/5 of that or every 3.8 years (1387.94 days). All eclipses in this table occur at the Moon's ascending node.

22 eclipse events between January 5, 1935 and August 11, 2018
January 4-5 October 23-24 August 10-12 May 30-31 March 18-19
111 113 115 117 119
 
January 5, 1935
 
August 12, 1942
 
May 30, 1946
 
March 18, 1950
121 123 125 127 129
 
January 5, 1954
 
October 23, 1957
 
August 11, 1961
 
May 30, 1965
 
March 18, 1969
131 133 135 137 139
 
January 4, 1973
 
October 23, 1976
 
August 10, 1980
 
May 30, 1984
 
March 18, 1988
141 143 145 147 149
 
January 4, 1992
 
October 24, 1995
 
August 11, 1999
 
May 31, 2003
 
March 19, 2007
151 153 155
 
January 4, 2011
 
October 23, 2014
 
August 11, 2018

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Stavinschi, M., National Seminar" The total solar Eclipse of August, 11, 1999. Interdisciplinary approach, Bucharest, October 15, 1998 in: Romanian Astron. J., vol.8, N.2, p.146 (1998)
  2. ^ Scientific session " Eclipsa 99", Romanian Astronomical Journal, vol.9, N.1, p.103 (1999)
  3. ^ Stavinschi, M., The maximum of the last eclipse of the Millenium was in Romania, Romanian Astronomical Journal, , vol.9, N.2, p.109- 114, 1999
  4. ^ "Solar show in sky or on the Internet".
  5. ^ "ISMB 99". Bioinf.mpi-sb.mpg.de. Retrieved 2013-10-01.
  6. ^ Hatherill, Chris (9 March 2016). "When Astronomers Chased a Total Eclipse in a Concorde". Vice. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  7. ^ Janković, Vladimir (July 2010). "Atmosfear: Slobodan Milošević versus 1999 Solar Eclipse". Centre for the History of Science, Technology of Medicine.
  8. ^ Dobson, Roger (1999-08-21). "UK hospitals assess eye damage after solar eclipse". The BMJ. 319 (7208): 469. doi:10.1136/bmj.319.7208.469. PMC 1116382. PMID 10454393.
  9. ^ "Eclipse2017 - Total Solar Eclipse 2017". eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov.
  10. ^ "Eclipse2017 - Total Solar Eclipse 2017". eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov.
  11. ^ van Gent, R.H. "Solar- and Lunar-Eclipse Predictions from Antiquity to the Present". A Catalogue of Eclipse Cycles. Utrecht University. Retrieved 6 October 2018.

ReferencesEdit

Photos