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Programmer: Bill Kramer
Last update: April 17 2015

Report

Eclipse Path

The eclipse of November 3rd, 2013 was a very short duration eclipse. For most of the path totality duration is just a few seconds. This was a *special eclipse* in that the eclipse path started as an annular eclipse (mean lunar diameter less than mean solar diameter as viewed from Earth) but then turned into a very short duration total eclipse (mean lunar diameter is greater than the mean solar diameter). Some apply the unofficial term "hybrid" to this very special type of eclipse. Reports from the SEML follow:


Report from Gabon

The Williams College Eclipse Expedition, headed by Jay Pasachoff, reports complete and total success with their observations of today's total solar eclipse, which lasted nearly one minute of totality at their site alongside La Lope National Park in central Gabon. After starting in the Atlantic Ocean, the eclipse met Africa at Gabon, and is continuing across the continent.

Though there had been many worries about this rainy season observation, the group of two dozen scientists, students, and tourists were amazed at how the morning's clouds mostly cleared early in the afternoon, but then a rainstorm began one hour before totality and lasted five minutes. Incredibly, the sky then completely cleared. The group was therefore able to see most of the opening partial phases, which started about one hour and a half before totality, before the cloudburst. Totality lasted from 2:56 to 2:57 pm local time in Gabon, equivalent to 8:56 to 8:57 Eastern Standard Time in the United States. There was not a cloud in the sky during that period, and thousands of images and spectra were successfully obtained.

The expedition was supported by a grant from the Committee for Research and Exploration of the National Geographic Society.

We are very pleased and overwhelmingly happy.


Report from near Lake Turkana from Glenn Schneider

Our group of 13, using two Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft positioned at the Sibiloi National Park airstrip, motivated by the onset of a sandstorm about 40 minutes before totality after being taunted by broken cumulous cloud all day with variable amounts of sky cover executed our contingency plan to observe by air. We relocated, at 10,300 ft AMSL to 03 31.8N, 35 38.5E for ~ 11 second of totality with two aircraft spaced 1/2 mile apart. After executing our final turn, ending appx 72 sec before totality at 10,000 ft, a cloud was directly ahead of and so climbed and "extra" 300 ft to ride with a wonderful view of totality with the clouds topping of ~ 300 ft below at their closest heights.

One picture here taken by Catelin Beldia who joined me and five others (plus our pilot) here: Image


Intercept flight over Atlantic from Bermuda

from Stephan Heinsius

we flew through the elipse at 43000 ft above some high thunderstrom cloud area. Quite bumpy impressions handling a HD video behind a 650mm lens! We crossed through or very nearby the umbral area. There still was at least one bead at maximum eclipse and lots of chromosphere and corona. Due to very high clouds the umbra moving away from us was not or very hardly visible. Anyway it was a very metallic clear darkblue sky above those clouds.

We had a German TV team of ZDF with us, so check today 03.11.2013 19:00 CET heute and 21:45 CET heute journal news on ZDF (2nd GermanyTV).

We are all extremely exited about that experience!


Kenya - Sky and Telescope group

We flew in from Nairobi in mid-afternoon, and the sky was already partly cloudy and becoming more so. About an hour before totality a howling dust storm, followed by light rain, enveloped our camp. Blew down everything except the portable toilet. Dust everywhere; eyes, throats, clothing, and of course telescopes. Then right at totality we had a tiny break that allowed us to see the bottom half of the Sun, and we got a nice show of Bailys beads and a diamond ring before the Sun got swallowed up.

Our Sky & Telescope group had 30 people. We counted about 20 aircraft along the dirt runway, so I would guess the umbraphile count was 100-150. I think I saw Glenn, Dan, & Co leave early to get ahead of the clouds. Fred Espenak and his small group were near us, so they saw what we saw: which was not much.


In the Atlantic on a ship by Michael Gill

The M/Y SeaDream I was located at 14d 06.146N 31d 50.148W for totality.

Although we got clear of low- and mid-level clouds, high-level clouds interfered. Fortunately, we got away from the really opaque high stuff and we were able to just see a watery-looking Sun with inner corona. No outer corona could be picked up.

Since things could have been worse, I'll take a 'glass half-full' attitude as the cloud situation was looking grim all morning.

Links to external websites

Bermuda Flight write up - Eclipseland (auf Deutsch)
Bermuda flight - Ben Cooper
Video of eclipse over Kenya, by Catalin Beldea
Flash Spectrum by Constantine Emmanuoilidi
Sea Dream in Atlantic (Stefan Meyer)
Bermuda Flight - Leo Metcalfe
Northern Kenya - Dan McGlaun
Uganda - Miloslav Druckmueller
Uganda - 3rd contact beads by Nick James
Uganda eclipse viewing by Alex Bengt Gustafsson

List presented in random order



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