Solar eclipse of June 20, 1955

A total solar eclipse occurred on June 20, 1955. 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. With a maximum duration of 7 minutes 7.74 seconds, this is the longest solar eclipse of saros series 136, as well as the longest total solar eclipse since the 11th century, and until the 22nd century, because greatest eclipse occurred near the Equator.[1] Totality beginning over the Indian Ocean, British Seychelles (today's Seychelles) and Maldives, crossing Ceylon (name changed to Sri Lanka later) including the capital city Colombo, Andaman Islands, Burma, Thailand including the capital city Bangkok, Cambodia, Laos, South Vietnam (now belonging to Vietnam), Paracel Islands and Scarborough Shoal (near the greatest eclipse), moving across the Philippines including the capital city Manila, Kayangel Atoll in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (now belonging to Palau), Nukumanu Islands in the Territory of Papua New Guinea (today's Papua New Guinea), towards northern Ontong Java Atoll in British Solomon Islands (today's Solomon Islands) ending over Southwestern Pacific Ocean. It was the second central solar eclipse visible from Bangkok from 1948 to 1958, where it is rare for a large city to witness 4 central solar eclipses in just 9.945 years.

Solar eclipse of June 20, 1955
Type of eclipse
Maximum eclipse
Duration428 sec (7 m 8 s)
Coordinates14°48′N 117°00′E / 14.8°N 117°E / 14.8; 117
Max. width of band254 km (158 mi)
Times (UTC)
Greatest eclipse4:10:42
Saros136 (34 of 71)
Catalog # (SE5000)9410

Related eclipsesEdit

Solar eclipses of 1953–1956Edit

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 eclipse of February 14, 1953 and August 9, 1953 belong to the last lunar year set.

Solar eclipse series sets from 1953–1956
Descending node   Ascending node
Saros Map Saros Map
1953 July 11
1954 January 5
1954 June 30
1954 December 25
1955 June 20
1955 December 14
1956 June 8
1956 December 2

Saros 136Edit

Solar Saros 136, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, contains 71 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on June 14, 1360, and reached a first annular eclipse on September 8, 1504. It was a hybrid event from November 22, 1612, through January 17, 1703, and total eclipses from January 27, 1721, through May 13, 2496. The series ends at member 71 as a partial eclipse on July 30, 2622, with the entire series lasting 1262 years. The longest eclipse occurred on June 20, 1955, with a maximum duration of totality at 7 minutes, 7.74 seconds. All eclipses in this series occurs at the Moon's descending node.[3]

Series members 29–43 occur between 1865 and 2117
29 30 31
Apr 25, 1865
May 6, 1883
May 18, 1901
32 33 34
May 29, 1919
Jun 8, 1937
Jun 20, 1955
35 36 37
Jun 30, 1973
Jul 11, 1991
Jul 22, 2009
38 39 40
Aug 2, 2027
Aug 12, 2045
Aug 24, 2063
41 42 43
Sep 3, 2081
Sep 14, 2099
Sep 26, 2117

Inex seriesEdit

This eclipse is a part of the long period inex cycle, repeating at alternating nodes, every 358 synodic months (≈ 10,571.95 days, or 29 years minus 20 days). Their appearance and longitude are irregular due to a lack of synchronization with the anomalistic month (period of perigee). However, groupings of 3 inex cycles (≈ 87 years minus 2 months) comes close (≈ 1,151.02 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).


  1. ^ Fred Espenak. "Catalog of Solar Eclipses: 1001 to 1100". NASA.
  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. ^ SEsaros136 at