Solar eclipse of December 4, 2002

A total solar eclipse took place on December 4, 2002 with a magnitude of 1.0244. 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. It was visible from a narrow corridor in southern Africa, the Indian Ocean and southern Australia. A partial eclipse was seen from the much broader path of the Moon's penumbra, including most of Africa and Australia. During the sunset after the eclipse many observers in Australia saw numerous and unusual forms of a green flash.[1]

Solar eclipse of December 4, 2002
Eclipse 4-12-2002 Woomera.jpg
The diamond ring effect at the end of totality, taken near Woomera, South Australia
Type of eclipse
Maximum eclipse
Duration124 sec (2 m 4 s)
Coordinates39°30′S 59°36′E / 39.5°S 59.6°E / -39.5; 59.6
Max. width of band87 km (54 mi)
Times (UTC)
Greatest eclipse7:32:16
Saros142 (22 of 72)
Catalog # (SE5000)9514

In some parts of Angola it was the second total eclipse of the Sun within 18 months, following the Solar eclipse of June 21, 2001.



Related eclipsesEdit

Eclipses of 2002Edit

Solar eclipses 2000–2003Edit

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.[2]

Note: Partial solar eclipses on February 5, 2000 and July 31, 2000 occur in the previous lunar year set.

Saros 142Edit

It is a part of Saros cycle 142, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, containing 72 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on April 17, 1624. It contains one hybrid eclipse on July 14, 1768, and total eclipses from July 25, 1786 through October 29, 2543. The series ends at member 72 as a partial eclipse on June 5, 2904. The longest duration of totality will be 6 minutes, 34 seconds on May 28, 2291. All eclipses in this series occurs at the Moon’s descending node.[3]

Tritos seriesEdit

This eclipse is a part of a tritos cycle, repeating at alternating nodes every 135 synodic months (≈ 3986.63 days, or 11 years minus 1 month). Their appearance and longitude are irregular due to a lack of synchronization with the anomalistic month (period of perigee), but groupings of 3 tritos cycles (≈ 33 years minus 3 months) come close (≈ 434.044 anomalistic months), so eclipses are similar in these groupings.

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 descending node.


  1. ^ Maunder, Michael (2007). Lights in the Sky: Identifying and Understanding Astronomical and Meteorological Phenomena. Springer. p. 116. ISBN 1846287618. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^