Posts Tagged ‘11 Aug 1999’

Show me the eclipse!

20 July, 2009

Wanna see an eclipse? Show me the money.

The 11 August 1999 solar eclipse that fell across Europe left such an impression on the people of Romania, they decided to print it on their money, the Romanian Leu.

How cool is that?

Romanian Leu (Obverse)

Romanian Leu (Reverse)

Weather up in Shanghai is a little hazy. Hope it clears up in time for a glorious eclipse on Wednesday morning.

That’s just 2 more days left!


Eclipse X 7

9 July, 2009

Image: Luc Viatour (

Image: Luc Viatour ( series of shots of the August 11, 1999 total eclipse, taken from France by Luc Viatour (

There’s a horizontal version — You can move your head from side to side really fast to try to see what an eclipse may look like. (Or you could visit on the morning of 22 July to watch an actual one in real time.)

And there’s a vertical version — For those with neck problems (just kidding!).

Sun? Moon? Both?

9 July, 2009

Let’s see. The Sun is in sky. The Moon moves in front of the Sun and blocks it. Resulting in the Sun looking like crescent Moon.

Tilt it to a side and you could almost see the Cheshire Cat. Curiouser and curiouser… 

Photo: Luis Fernandez Garcia

Nice image captured by Luis Fernández García from the eclipse in August 1999.

The space station with a view

7 July, 2009

Earlier we posted a picture of the March 29, 2006 eclipse taken from the International Space Station.

This one was taken by astronauts on the Mir Space Station. It was of the August 11, 1999 total solar eclipse over Europe. That spot of shadow you see on the surface of Earth spans over 160 kilometres (about 100 miles) across. Awesome.

Image: NASA/Mir


2 July, 2009

Uncanny global happening. Strange event in the sky. The signs appear all around us.

Such as this one.

Photo: S. Klüsener

The description reads: “Autobahnwarnhinweis Sonnenfinsternis bei Strasbourg Frankreich”, which I think means “Autobahn warning solar eclipse in Starsbourg, France”. (Anybody out there who can speak German and translate?)

As far as I can tell, this is a sign put up along the highway for the August 11, 1999 total solar eclipse in Europe, probably to warn motorists who may not be aware of the impending event in case they should be surprised by the sky growing dark suddenly during broad daylight.

Just so none of us are in the same predicament and caught unawares, the next total eclipse is going to happen on July 22, 1999.

Got details?

29 May, 2009

If you like numbers and degrees down to the seconds, have we got the chart for you.

Below you’ll find details galore of the total solar eclipse that fell mostly in Europe on August 11, 1999, listing out the contact points of the umbra, penumbra as well as the circumstances of the greatest eclipse, not to mention the notable times and coordinates. The total solar eclipse lasted 2 min 22 s.

Image Credit: NASA

Event Time (UTC)
Beginning of the general eclipse 08:26:17
Beginning of the total eclipse 09:29:55
Beginning of the central eclipse 09:30:53
Greatest eclipse 11:03:07
End of the central eclipse 12:35:33
End of the total eclipse 12:36:26
End of the general eclipse 13:40:08

 via: NASA and Wikipedia

Totally awesome total eclipses

28 May, 2009


One of the most famous eclipses in recent history, the event of 11 August 1999 that fell over Europe, was a total solar eclipse.

Scientists figure it was one of the most viewed eclipses in human history because the path of totality fell over densely populated areas.

In addition to eclipse-watching parties, there was substantial coverage on European TV stations, such as BBC, as well as stations in Asia, like Doordarshan, the national TV channel in India, which broadcast a live coverage from Srikakulam.

There was even a live webcast shown at the Exploratorium in San Francisco from a crowded town square in Amasya, Turkey, 

The moon’s shadow was also observed from the Russian Mir space station; during the eclipse, video from Mir was broadcast live on television.

Photo: Luc Viatour

The path of the moon‘s shadow began in the Atlantic Ocean and, before noon, was traversing Cornwall, Devon, northern France, Luxembourg, soutern Germany, Austria, Hungary, and northern Serbia.

Its maximum was at 11:03 UTC at 45.1°N 24.3°E in Romania.

And it continued to cross over Bulgaria, the Black Sea, Turkey, Iran, southern Pakistan, India, before ending in the Bay of Bengal.

Image Credit: Fred Espanek ©2000Here’s a cool animation of the path of totality by Fred Espenak of NASA.

Check out the tiny dark dot that moves across the Earth. That’s the path of totality — the areas that would experience the total solar eclipse. And compare it to the wider, lighter area of the penumbra — the areas that would only see a partial eclipse.

Now that’s how rare a chance to catch a total solar eclipse is.