Solar eclipse of April 17, 1912

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Solar eclipse of April 17, 1912
Type of eclipse
Maximum eclipse
Duration2 sec (0 m 2 s)
Coordinates38°24′N 11°18′W / 38.4°N 11.3°W / 38.4; -11.3
Max. width of band1 km (0.62 mi)
Times (UTC)
Greatest eclipse11:34:22
Saros137 (30 of 70)
Catalog # (SE5000)9308

A total solar eclipse occurred at the Moon’s ascending node on Wednesday, April 17, 1912. It is a hybrid event, starting and ending as an annular eclipse, with only a small portion of totality. 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. Annularity was first visible from southeastern tip of Venezuela, northern tip of Brazil, British Guyana (today's Guyana), Dutch Guiana (today's Suriname) and Porto Santo Island in Madeira, Portugal, then totality from Portugal and Spain, with annularity continued northeast across France (including northwestern suburbs of Paris), Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and Russian Empire (the parts now belonging to northern Latvia, southern Estonia and Russia).

This eclipse occurred two days after the RMS Titanic sank in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean under the darkness of new moon.[1]


Solar eclipse 1912Apr17 Flammarion.jpg
The Observatory of Paris had the Globule balloon aloft for the 17 April 1912 hybrid eclipse, reported by Camille Flammarion.[2]
Solar eclipse 1912Apr17-LePetitJournal.png
The Le Petit Journal cover, on 1912 April 21, shows eclipse watchers in 1912 along with the solar eclipse of May 22, 1724, the previous total solar eclipse visible from Paris, France[3]
The 1 May 1912 edition of the luso-Brazilian Brasil-Portugal magazine publishes photographs of the eclipse, as it was seen in Lisbon. A brief editorial says: "One can tell, on that moment, the mathematical regularity that presides over everything that goes on above and the considerable achievements that the oldest of sciences — Astronomy — has been meeting. While some, strong spirits, point out the fact and point out how precise are scientific calculi, the others, believers, consider that what we can grasp is still too little and, not being able to conceive a Creation without a Creator, pay homage to science but continue to kneel before God. The reader can judge the interest that the phenomenon sparked among us by himself though the photographs that follow, where one can see it all; the wise and the godless, the noble and the commoners, women and men, everyone paid no attention to earthly matters and, for a moment, observed with better or worse instruments what was going on up above. It was even a momentaneous rest for politics."

Eugène Atget photo of eclipse of April 17, 1912 in Paris

Related eclipses[edit]

Solar eclipses 1910–1913[edit]

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.[4]

Saros 137[edit]

It is a part of Saros cycle 137, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, containing 70 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on May 25, 1389. It contains total eclipses from August 20, 1533 through December 6, 1695, first set of hybrid eclipses from December 17, 1713 through February 11, 1804, first set of annular eclipses from February 21, 1822 through March 25, 1876, second set of hybrid eclipses from April 6, 1894 through April 28, 1930, and second set of annular eclipses from May 9, 1948 through April 13, 2507. The series ends at member 70 as a partial eclipse on June 28, 2633. The longest duration of totality was 2 minutes, 55 seconds on September 10, 1569. Solar Saros 137 has 55 umbral eclipses from August 20, 1533 through April 13, 2507 (973.62 years). That's almost 1 millennium!


  1. ^ The "Titanic" eclipse of 17 April 1912 Archived 7 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine The last annular eclipse in the Netherlands was 17 April 1912, just two days after the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2009-05-30 at the Wayback Machine Societe Astronomique, pp. 234–248, 1912 – By Camille Flammarion (Translation from French by LRM) p. 240 "A balloon dirigible, having on board Admiral Fournier and Colonel Bourgeois permitted good perception of the moon's shadow at a speed of 800 m/sec ... From a captive balloon near Saint-Nom-de-la-Breteche, Captain Dupic made analogous observations which confirmed those made from the dirigible." "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-10.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ [2]17th April 1912: Eclipse fever grips Europe Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ 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.