Solar eclipse of August 1, 2008

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Solar eclipse of August 1, 2008
Corona.jpg
Totality showing corona from Yiwu County, China
SE2008Aug01T.png
Map
Type of eclipse
Nature Total
Gamma 0.8307
Magnitude 1.0394
Maximum eclipse
Duration 147 sec (2 m 27 s)
Coordinates 65°42′N 72°18′E / 65.7°N 72.3°E / 65.7; 72.3
Max. width of band 237 km (147 mi)
Times (UTC)
(P1) Partial begin 04:06.8
(U1) Total begin 21:07.3
Greatest eclipse 10:22:12
(U4) Total end 21:28.3
(P4) Partial end 38:27.7
References
Saros 126 (47 of 72)
Catalog # (SE5000) 9526

A total solar eclipse occurred on August 1, 2008. 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 had a magnitude of 1.0394[1] that was visible from a narrow corridor through northern Canada (Nunavut), Greenland, central Russia, eastern Kazakhstan, western Mongolia and China.[2] Occurring north of the arctic circle, it belonged to the so-called midnight sun eclipses. The largest city on the path of the eclipse was Novosibirsk in Russia.[3]

The total eclipse lasted for 2 minutes, and covered 0.4% of the Earth's surface in a 10,200 km long path. It was the 47th eclipse of the 126th Saros cycle, which began with a partial eclipse on March 10, 1179 and will conclude with a partial eclipse on May 3, 2459.[4]

A partial eclipse could be seen from the much broader path of the Moon's penumbra, including northeastern North America and most of Europe and Asia.[2]

It was described by observers as "special for its colours around the horizon. There were wonderful oranges and reds all around, the clouds lit up, some dark in silhouette, some golden, glowing yellowy-orange in the distance. You could see the shadow approaching against the clouds and then rushing away as it left"[5]

Start of eclipse: Canada, Greenland and Norway[edit]

Animated path

The eclipse began in the far north of Canada in Nunavut at 09:21 UT, the zone of totality being 206 km wide, and lasting for 1 minute 30 seconds. The path of the eclipse then headed north-east, crossing over northern Greenland and reaching the northernmost latitude of 83° 47′ at 09:38 UT before dipping down into Russia.[4]

The path of totality touched the northeast corner of Kvitøya, an uninhabited Norwegian island in the Svalbard archipelago, at 09:47 UT.[citation needed]

Greatest eclipse: Russia[edit]

The eclipse reached the Russian mainland at 10:10 UT,[4] with a path 232 km wide and a duration of 2 minutes 26 seconds.[citation needed] The greatest eclipse occurred shortly after, at 10:21:07 UT at coordinates 65°39′N 72°18′E / 65.650°N 72.300°E / 65.650; 72.300 (close to Nadym), when the path was 237 km wide, and the duration was 2 minutes 27 seconds. Cities in the path of the total eclipse included Megion, Nizhnevartovsk, Strezhevoy, Novosibirsk and Barnaul.[4] Around 10,000 tourists were present in Novosibirsk, the largest city to experience the eclipse.[3]

Conclusion: China[edit]

The path of the eclipse then moved south-east, crossing into Mongolia and just clipping Kazakhstan at around 10:58 UT. The path here was 252 km wide, but the duration was decreased to 2 minutes 10 seconds. The path then ran down the China-Mongolia border, ending in China at 11:18 UT, with an eclipse lasting 1 minute 27 seconds at sunset.[citation needed] The total eclipse finished at 11:21 UT. The total eclipse passed over Yiwu, Jiuquan and Xi’an.[4] Around 10,000 people were gathered to watch the eclipse in Yiwu.[3]

Partial eclipse[edit]

A partial eclipse was seen from the much broader path of the Moon's penumbra, including the north east coast of North America and most of Europe and Asia.[2] In London, England, the partial eclipse began at 08:33 UTC, with a maximum eclipse of 12% at 09:18 UTC, before concluding at 10:05 UTC. At Edinburgh the partial eclipse was 23.5% of the sun, whilst it was 36% in Lerwick in the Shetland Isles.[6]

LTU 1111[edit]

German charter airline LTU, now trading as Air Berlin, operated a special flight from Düsseldorf to the North Pole to observe the eclipse. Flight number LT 1111 spent over 11 hours in the air, returning to base at 6pm after flying a planeload of eclipse chasers, scientists, journalists and TV crews to watch the celestial event. The route also included a low-level sightseeing tour of Svalbard before the eclipse and the magnetic pole afterwards.

Related eclipses[edit]

Solar eclipses 2008-2011[edit]

Each member 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.

Saros 126[edit]

It is a part of Saros cycle 126, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, containing 71 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on March 10, 1179. It contains annular eclipses from June 4, 1323 through April 4, 1810 and hybrid eclipses from April 14, 1828 through May 6, 1864. It contains total eclipses from May 17, 1882 through August 23, 2044. The series ends at member 72 as a partial eclipse on May 3, 2459. The longest duration of central eclipse (annular or total) was 5 minutes, 46 seconds of annularity on November 22, 1593. The longest duration of totality was 2 minutes, 36 seconds on July 10, 1972.[7]

Metonic series[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Espenak, Fred; Jay Anderson (July 2004). "Total Solar Eclipse of 2008 August 01 - Parameters". NASA. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  2. ^ a b c "Total Solar Eclipse of 2008 August 01". NASA. July 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  3. ^ a b c "Total eclipse a dark show for thousands". Herald Sun. August 3, 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Espenak, Fred; Jay Anderson (March 2007). Total Eclipse of 2008 August 01 - NASA Technical Bulletin 2007–214149. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  5. ^ Dr John Mason describing the ecliipse directly after observing it
  6. ^ Royal Astronomical Society (July 31, 2008). "Solar Eclipse On The Morning Of August 1st". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  7. ^ Solar_Saros_series_126, accessed October 2010

References[edit]

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