Solar eclipse of October 2, 1959

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Solar eclipse of October 2, 1959
Type of eclipse
Nature Total
Gamma 0.4207
Magnitude 1.0325
Maximum eclipse
Duration 182 sec (3 m 2 s)
Coordinates 20°24′N 1°24′W / 20.4°N 1.4°W / 20.4; -1.4
Max. width of band 120 km (75 mi)
Times (UTC)
Greatest eclipse 12:27:00
Saros 143 (20 of 72)
Catalog # (SE5000) 9419

A total solar eclipse occurred on October 2, 1959. 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. Totality was visible from northeastern Massachusetts and the southern tip of New Hampshire in the United States, Canary Islands, Morocco, Spanish Sahara (today's West Sahara) including the capital city Laayoune, French Mauritania (today's Mauritania), Mali Federation (part now belonging to Mali), French Niger (today's Niger), British Nigeria (today's Nigeria), British Cameroons and French Cameroons (now belonging to Cameroon), French Chad (today's Chad) including the capital city Fort-Lamy, French Central Africa (today's Central African Republic), Sudan (part of the path of totality is now in South Sudan), Ethiopia, and the Trust Territory of Somaliland (today's Somalia).


Totality began over Boston, Massachusetts at sunrise. Viewing the eclipse was rained out, but it was reported that the brightening of the sky after the eclipse was a startling and impressive sight.[1] A few photographers captured the eclipse from airplanes above the clouds, and a multiple exposure was made atop the R. C. A. building in New York City.[2] The next total eclipse over Boston, the solar eclipse of May 1, 2079, will also be a sunrise event.[3]

The event was also observed at the Canarian Island of Fuerteventura by a team of Dutch astronomers of the university of Utrecht and Amsterdam.[4][5]

Related eclipses[edit]

Solar eclipses of 1957-1960[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 143[edit]

It is a part of Saros cycle 143, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, containing 72 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on March 7, 1617 and total event from June 24, 1797 through October 24, 1995. It has hybrid eclipses from November 3, 2013 through December 6, 2067, and annular eclipses from December 16, 2085 through September 16, 2536. The series ends at member 72 as a partial eclipse on April 23, 2873. The longest duration of totality was 3 minutes, 50 seconds on August 19, 1887.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 54, p.43,
  2. ^ Sky and Telescope, Vol. XIX, No. 1, p. 4.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Report of the Netherlands expedition for the observation of the total solar eclipse on october 2, 1959. Houtgast, J., Proceedings of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 63, Nr. 5, p. 611 (1960)
  6. ^