Solar eclipse of May 29, 1919

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Solar eclipse of May 29, 1919
1919 eclipse positive.jpg
From the report of Sir Arthur Eddington on the expedition to the island of Principe (off the west coast of Africa).
Type of eclipse
Maximum eclipse
Duration411 sec (6 m 51 s)
Coordinates4°24′N 16°42′W / 4.4°N 16.7°W / 4.4; -16.7
Max. width of band244 km (152 mi)
Times (UTC)
Greatest eclipse13:08:55
Saros136 (32 of 71)
Catalog # (SE5000)9326

A total solar eclipse occurred on May 29, 1919. With the duration of totality at maximum eclipse of 6 minutes 51 seconds, it was the longest solar eclipse since May 27, 1416. A longer total solar eclipse would later occur on June 8, 1937.[1]

It was visible throughout most of South America and Africa as a partial eclipse. Totality occurred through a narrow path across southeastern Peru, northern Chile, central Bolivia and Brazil after sunrise, across the Atlantic Ocean and into south central Africa, covering southern Liberia, southern French West Africa (the part now belonging to Ivory Coast), southwestern tip of British Gold Coast (now Ghana), Príncipe Island in Portuguese São Tomé and Príncipe, southern Spanish Guinea (now Equatorial Guinea), French Equatorial Africa (the parts now belonging to Gabon and R. Congo, including Libreville), Belgian Congo (now DR Congo), northeastern Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), northern tip of Nyasaland (now Malawi), German East Africa (now belonging to Tanzania) and northeastern Portuguese Mozambique (now Mozambique), ending near sunset in eastern Africa.

Total solar eclipse of May 29, 1919, as emulated by program Celestia version 1.5.1 under KDE 3.5.10 release 21.13.1, operating system SuSe Linux 11.1. All systems under free licence (GPL).


Albert Einstein's prediction of the bending of light by the gravity of the Sun, one of the components of his general theory of relativity, can be tested during a solar eclipse, when stars with apparent position near the sun become visible. Following an unsuccessful attempt to validate this prediction during the Solar eclipse of June 8, 1918,[2] two expeditions were made to measure positions of stars during this eclipse. The first was led by Sir Frank Watson Dyson and Sir Arthur Eddington to the island of Principe (off the west coast of Africa), the second by Andrew Claude de la Cherois Crommelin and Charles Davidson to Sobral in Brazil.[3] The stars that both expeditions observed were in the constellation Taurus.[4]

Related eclipses[edit]

Solar eclipses 1916–1920[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.[5]

Saros 136[edit]

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, 8 seconds.[6]


  1. ^ Espenak, Fred. "Total Solar Eclipses with Durations Exceeding 07m 00s: -3999 to 6000". NASA Eclipse Web Site.
  2. ^ Ethan Siegel, "America's Previous Coast-To-Coast Eclipse Almost Proved Einstein Right", Forbes, Aug 4, 2017. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Longair, Malcolm (2015-04-13). "Bending space–time: a commentary on Dyson, Eddington and Davidson (1920) 'A determination of the deflection of light by the Sun9s gravitational field'". Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A. 373 (2039): 20140287. Bibcode:2015RSPTA.37340287L. doi:10.1098/rsta.2014.0287. ISSN 1364-503X. PMC 4360090. PMID 25750149.
  4. ^ F. W. Dyson, A. S. Eddington, and C. Davidson (1920). "A Determination of the Deflection of Light by the Sun's Gravitational Field, from Observations Made at the Total Eclipse of May 29, 1919" (PDF). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. CCXX-A 579: 291–333. Bibcode:1920RSPTA.220..291D. doi:10.1098/rsta.1920.0009.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ SEsaros136 at