Solar eclipse of March 29, 2006

A total solar eclipse occurred on March 28–29, 2006. 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 which traversed half the Earth. The magnitude, that is, the ratio between the apparent sizes of the Moon and that of the Sun, was 1.052, and it was part of Saros 139.

Solar eclipse of March 29, 2006
Totality from Side, Turkey
Type of eclipse
Maximum eclipse
Duration247 sec (4 m 7 s)
Coordinates23°12′N 16°42′E / 23.2°N 16.7°E / 23.2; 16.7
Max. width of band184 km (114 mi)
Times (UTC)
(P1) Partial begin7:36:50
(U1) Total begin8:34:20
Greatest eclipse10:12:23
(U4) Total end11:47:55
(P4) Partial end12:45:35
Saros139 (29 of 71)
Catalog # (SE5000)9521


Animated path

The path of totality of the Moon's shadow began at sunrise in Brazil and extended across the Atlantic to Africa, traveling across Ghana, the southeastern tip of Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Libya, and a small corner of northwest Egypt, from there across the Mediterranean Sea to Greece (Kastellórizo) and Turkey, then across the Black Sea via Georgia, Russia, and Kazakhstan to Western Mongolia, where it ended at sunset. A partial eclipse was seen from the much broader path of the Moon's penumbra, including the northern two-thirds of Africa, the whole of Europe, and Central Asia.


People around the world gathered in areas where the eclipse was visible to view the event. The Manchester Astronomical Society, the Malaysian Space Agency, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, as well as dozens of tour groups met at the Apollo temple and the theater in Side, Turkey. The San Francisco Exploratorium featured a live webcast from the site, where thousands of observers were seated in the ancient, Roman-style theater.[1]

Almost all actively visited areas in the path of totality had perfect weather. Many observers reported an unusually beautiful eclipse, with many or all effects visible, and a very nice corona, despite the proximity to the solar minimum. The partial phase of the eclipse was also visible from the International Space Station, where the astronauts on board took spectacular pictures of the moon's shadow on Earth's surface. It initially appeared as though an orbit correction set for the middle of March would bring the ISS into the path of totality, but this correction was postponed.


Satellite failureEdit

The satellite responsible for SKY Network Television, a New Zealand pay TV company, failed the day after this eclipse at around 1900 local time. While SKY didn't directly attribute the failure to the eclipse, they said in a media release that it took longer to resolve the issue because of it, but this claim was refuted by astronomers. The main reason for the failure was because of an aging and increasingly faulty satellite.[2]

Related eclipsesEdit

Eclipses of 2006Edit

This solar eclipse was preceded by the penumbral lunar eclipse on March 14, 2006.

Solar eclipses 2004–2007Edit

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.[3]

Saros 139Edit

It is a part of saros series 139, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, 8 hours, containing 71 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on May 17, 1501. It contains hybrid eclipses on August 11, 1627 through December 9, 1825 and total eclipses from December 21, 1843 through March 26, 2601. The series ends at member 71 as a partial eclipse on July 3, 2763. Members in the same column are one exeligmos apart and thus occur in the same geographic area.

The solar eclipse of June 13, 2132 will be the longest total solar eclipse since July 11, 1991 at 6 minutes, 55.02 seconds.

The longest duration of totality will be produced by member 39 at 7 minutes, 29.22 seconds on July 16, 2186.[4] This is the longest solar eclipse computed between 4000BC and 6000AD.[5]

After 16 July 2186, totality duration will decrease. All eclipses in this series occurs at the Moon’s ascending node.

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). All eclipses in this table occur at the Moon's ascending node.


  1. ^ Total Solar Eclipse: Live from Turkey in 2006
  2. ^ Press release by Sky TV. Solar eclipse interferes with satellite restoration Archived 2005-02-10 at the Wayback Machine Friday, 31 March 2006.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Saros Series Catalog of Solar Eclipses NASA Eclipse Web Site.
  5. ^ Ten Millennium Catalog of Long Solar Eclipses, -3999 to +6000 (4000 BCE to 6000 CE) Fred Espenak.



External linkEdit

  Media related to Solar eclipse of 2006 March 29 at Wikimedia Commons