Solar eclipse of August 11, 1999

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Solar eclipse of August 11, 1999
Solar eclipse 1999 4 NR.jpg
Totality from France
Type of eclipse
Nature Total
Gamma 0.5062
Magnitude 1.0286
Maximum eclipse
Duration 143 sec (2 m 23 s)
Coordinates 45°06′N 24°18′E / 45.1°N 24.3°E / 45.1; 24.3
Max. width of band 112 km (70 mi)
Times (UTC)
Greatest eclipse 11:04:09
Saros 145 (21 of 77)
Catalog # (SE5000) 9506

A total solar eclipse occurred on 11 August 1999 with an eclipse magnitude of 1.029. 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. The path of the Moon's shadow began in the Atlantic Ocean and, before noon, was traversing the southern United Kingdom, northern France, Belgium, Luxembourg, southern Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and northern FR Yugoslavia (Vojvodina). Its maximum was at 11:03 UTC at 45°06′N 24°18′E / 45.1°N 24.3°E / 45.1; 24.3 in Romania (next to a town called Ocnele Mari near Râmnicu Vâlcea); and it continued across Bulgaria, the Black Sea, Turkey, Iran, southern Pakistan and Srikakulam in India and ended in the Bay of Bengal.

It was the first total eclipse visible from Europe since 22 July 1990, and the first visible in the United Kingdom since 29 June 1927.


The eclipse as seen from France

Because of the high population densities in areas of the path, this was one of the most-viewed total solar eclipses in human history;[1] although some areas in the path of totality (mainly in Western Europe) offered impaired visibility due to adverse weather conditions.

Some of the organized eclipse-watching parties along the path of totality set up video projectors on which people could watch the shadow as it raced towards them.[2] There was substantial coverage on European TV stations of the progress of the eclipse shadow. The Moon's shadow was also observed from the Russian Mir space station; during the eclipse, video from Mir was broadcast live on television.

  • The BBC concentrated its coverage efforts on the first landfall of the shadow across the western end of Cornwall (from St Ives to Lizard), which was packed with an extraordinary number of visitors, although Cornwall did not have nearly as many as expected leading to many specially organised events to be left with very small attendance. The veteran eclipse-watcher Patrick Moore was brought in to head a live programme, but the eclipse was clouded out. BBC One also produced a special version of their Balloon Idents for the event. Unfortunately, the BBC did not have a presence at Goonhilly on the Lizard Peninsula, as this was one of the few places in Cornwall where the clouds parted just in time for the total eclipse to be visible.
  • Some of the best viewing conditions were to be had mid-Channel, where ferries were halted in calm conditions to obtain an excellent view. Hundreds of people who gathered on the island of Alderney also experienced the event.
  • A gathering of several thousand people at the airport in Soissons, France, which was on the path of totality, were denied all but a few fleeting glimpses of the eclipse through the overcast sky. Frustratingly, the clouds cleared completely just a few minutes after the eclipse.
  • In contrast, the overcast sky in Amiens, France, where thousands had gathered, cleared only minutes before the eclipse began.
  • Further inland, viewing conditions were also perfect at Vouziers, a French country town gridlocked by Belgian cars from day-visitors. The patchy cloud covering cleared a short time before the shadow arrived. Some photos from Vouziers were used on the subsequent BBC Sky at Night programme.
  • The San Francisco Exploratorium featured a live webcast from a crowded town square in Amasya, Turkey.
  • Doordarshan, the national TV channel in India broadcast a live coverage from Srikakulam, hosted by the renowned TV personality, Mona Bhattacharya.
  • A Bulgarian Air Force MiG-21 two-seater was used by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences to study the solar corona. The MiG-21, flying at 1600–1700 km/h (M=1,4-1,5) at an altitude of 13,000m, was able to stay in the moon's umbra for 6min. The photographer, an air force pilot, used two film cameras, both fitted with 200mm lenses and infrared filters, and one Digital8 video camera. The flight was sponsored by Mobiltel.
  • Hungary's most popular tourist destination, Lake Balaton and its surrounding area fell into the path of the eclipse entirely, which made the area even more popular for that day. The motorway leading there was crowded, many people had to watch the eclipse while caught in a traffic jam.


Notable times and coordinates[edit]

Animated path
Special 2,000 lei note made for the 1999 total eclipse of the Sun, showing the eclipse path over the map of Romania
Event Time (UTC) Coordinates[3]
1st penumbral contact with earth surface (P1) 08:26:17
1st external umbral contact (U1) 09:29:55 41°2.0′N 65°5.4′W / 41.0333°N 65.0900°W / 41.0333; -65.0900
2nd internal umbral contact (U2) 09:30:53 43°0.1′N 57°55.8′W / 43.0017°N 57.9300°W / 43.0017; -57.9300
Greatest eclipse 11:03:07 45°4.8′N 24°17.3′E / 45.0800°N 24.2883°E / 45.0800; 24.2883[4]
3rd internal umbral contact (U3) 12:35:33 19°39.7′N 80°20.4′E / 19.6617°N 80.3400°E / 19.6617; 80.3400
4th external umbral contact (U4) 12:36:26 17°33.5′N 87°17.1′E / 17.5583°N 87.2850°E / 17.5583; 87.2850
4th penumbral contact with earth surface (P4) 13:40:08

Type of the eclipse[edit]

Nature of the eclipse Total
Gamma 0.5063
Magnitude 1.0286
Duration at greatest eclipse point 143 s (2 min 23 s) at 11:03:07 UTC, in Romania: 45°04′48″N 24°17′18″E / 45.08000°N 24.28833°E / 45.08000; 24.28833
Maximum pathwidth 112.3 km

Related eclipses[edit]

Solar eclipses 1997–2000[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.

Solar eclipse series sets from 1997 to 2000
Ascending node   Descending node
Saros Map Saros Map
Total solar eclipse of March 9 1997.jpg
Chita, Russia
March 9, 1997
125 September 2, 1997
130 February 26, 1998
135 August 22, 1998
140 February 16, 1999
Solar eclipse 1999 4 NR.jpg
Totality Cornwall, United Kingdom
August 11, 1999
150 February 5, 2000
155 July 31, 2000
Partial solar eclipses on July 1, 2000 and December 25, 2000 occur in the next lunar year eclipse set.

Saros 145[edit]

This solar eclipse is a part of Saros cycle 145, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, containing 77 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on January 4, 1639, and reached a first annular eclipse on June 6, 1891. It was a hybrid event on June 17, 1909, and total eclipses from June 29, 1927 through September 9, 2648. The series ends at member 77 as a partial eclipse on April 17, 3009. The longest eclipse will occur on June 25, 2522, with a maximum duration of totality of 7 minutes, 12 seconds. [5]

Series members 16–26 occur between 1901 and 2100:

16 17 18
June 17, 1909
June 29, 1927
July 9, 1945
19 20 21
July 20, 1963
July 31, 1981
August 11, 1999
22 23 24
August 21, 2017
September 2, 2035
September 12, 2053
25 26
September 23, 2071
October 4, 2089

Metonic series[edit]

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).

This series has 21 eclipse events between August 12, 1942 and August 11, 2018.

August 10-12 May 30 March 18 January 4-5 October 23-24
115 117 119 121 123
August 12, 1942
May 30, 1946
March 18, 1950
January 5, 1954
October 23, 1957
125 127 129 131 133
August 11, 1961
May 30, 1965
March 18, 1969
January 4, 1973
October 23, 1976
135 137 139 141 143
August 10, 1980
May 30, 1984
March 18, 1988
January 4, 1992
October 24, 1995
145 147 149 151 153
August 11, 1999
May 31, 2003
March 19, 2007
January 4, 2011
October 23, 2014
August 11, 2018

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Solar show in sky or on the Internet - Baltimore Sun
  2. ^ "ISMB 99". Retrieved 2013-10-01. 
  3. ^ Path of the Total Solar Eclipse of 1999 Aug 11,
  4. ^ Total Solar Eclipse of 1999 Aug 11 (GIF image),
  5. ^ Espenak, Fred (Project & Website Manager), Statistics for Solar Eclipses of Saros 145, NASA, updated 2009 September 26.