Axarquia, Costa del Sol, Andalucia, Spain

ECLIPSES IN 2006

Eclipses during 2006:
14th/15th March - Penumbral eclipse of the Moon.
A penumbral eclipse is when the Moon enters the outer or penumbral shadow of the Earth and darkens only slightly. Penumbral eclipses can be difficult to observe, especially during the early and late stages. Nevertheless, a subtle yet distinct shading is usually visible.

This is a deep penumbral eclipse best visible from Europe and Africa. The first contact occurs at 21:22 UT (14th) and the last at 02:14 UT (15th). This eclipse is unusual since it is a total penumbral eclipse with whole Moon will lying completely within the penumbral shadow from 23:18 UT (14th) to 00:18 UT (15th). Greatest eclipse occurs at 23:48 UT with a penumbral magnitude of 1.0565. At that time, the Moon stands midway in the penumbral shadow.

29th March - Total eclipse of the Sun.
This total eclipse will be visible from within a narrow corridor traversing half the Earth. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in Brazil, crosses the Atlantic, northern Africa through central Asia where it ends at sunset in western Mongolia. A partial eclipse will be visible within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, including the northern two thirds of Africa, Europe and central Asia.

Path of Solar Eclipse, March 2006 The central path of eclipse, where the Moon's umbral shadow first touches Earth, starts in eastern Brazil at 08:36 UT. As the sun rises, the duration of totality is 1 minute 53 seconds from the centre of the 129 kilometre wide path. Travelling at over 9 kilometres per second, the path crosses the Atlantic Ocean for the next half hour. After crossing the equator, it moves across the Gulf of Guinea to the coast of Ghana at 09:08 UT. The Sun now stands at 44° above the eastern horizon during totality of 3 minutes 24 seconds. The width of the path has now expanded to 184 kilometres and the ground speed has decreased to 0.958 kilometres per second. Accra, the capital of Ghana, is located about 50 kilometres south of the central line and can expect a total eclipse lasting 2 minute 58 seconds (09:11 UT).

The path then moves inland to Togo at 09:14 UT. Togo's capital city, Lome, lies just outside the southern limit so will only experience a slight partial eclipse. 2 minutes later, the path's leading edge reaches Benin where the capital Porto-Novo experiences a deep partial eclipse of 0.985 magnitude. Continuing northeast, the path then enters Nigeria at 09:21 UT. The central duration has now increased to 3 minutes 40 seconds, the Sun's altitude is 52°, the path of totality is 188 kilometres wide and the velocity is 0.818 kilometres per second. The capital Lagos is situated about 120 kilometres outside the umbra's southern limit so will witness a partial eclipse of 0.968 magnitude.

The path takes about 16 minutes to cross western Nigeria before entering Niger at 09:37 UT. The central duration is now 3 minutes 54 seconds and the velocity, at 0.734 kilometres per second, continues to decrease. During the next hour, the path traverses some of the most remote and desolate deserts on the planet. The path then crosses northern Niger at 10:05 UT, extreme northwestern Chad and into southern Libya.

The instant of greatest eclipse (when the axis of the moon`s shadow passes closest to the earth`s geocentre) occurs at 10:11:18 UT. Totality reaches its maximum duration of 4 minutes 7 seconds, the Sun's altitude is 67°, the path width is 184 kilometres and the umbra's velocity is 0.697 kilometres per second. Continuing on a northeastern course, the path crosses central Libya to reach the Mediterranean coast at 10:40 UT. Northwestern Egypt also lies within the umbral path where the central duration is 3 minutes 58 seconds.

Passing directly between Crete and Cyprus, the track reaches the southern coast of Turkey at 10:54 UT. Lying 50 kilometres northwest of the central line, the coastal town of Antalya will experience a total eclipse lasting 3 minutes 11 seconds. At this point, observers on the central line receive an additional 35 seconds of totality. Konya is 25 kilometres from the path`s centre and will experience a 3 minute 36 second total phase beginning at 10:58 UT.

The path then crosses mountainous regions of central Turkey and at 11:10 UT reaches the Black Sea along the northern coast of Turkey. The central duration is now 3 minutes 30 seconds, the Sun's altitude is 47°, the path width is 165 kilometres and the umbra's velocity is 0.996 kilometres per secon. 6 minutes later, the path encounters the western shore of Georgia and moves inland to cross the Caucasus Mountains, the highest mountain chain of Europe. Georgia's capital, Tbilisi, is outside the path and experiences a 0.949 magnitude partial eclipse at 11:19 UT. As the shadow proceeds into Russia, it engulfs the northern end of the Caspian Sea and crosses into Kazakhstan. At 11:30 UT, the late afternoon Sun's altitude is 32°, the central line duration is 2 minutes 57 seconds and the umbral velocity is 1.508 kilometres per second and increasing.

In the remaining 17 minutes, the shadow rapidly accelerates across central Asia while the duration dwindles. It traverses northern Kazakhstan and briefly re-enters Russia before lifting off Earth's surface at sunset along Mongolia's northern border at 11:48 UT.

7th September - Partial eclipse of the Moon.
This is a shallow eclipse with the penumbral phase beginning at 16:42 UT but not really detectable until about 17:30 UT. The eclipse will be best seen from Africa, Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe. The major phases are as follows:
Penumbral Eclipse Begins: 16:42:23 UT
Partial Eclipse Begins: 18:05:03 UT
Greatest Eclipse: 18:51:21 UT
Partial Eclipse Ends: 19:37:41 UT
Penumbral Eclipse Ends: 21:00:20 UT

At greatest eclipse, the Moon will stand near the zenith for observers in the central Indian Ocean. At that time, the umbral eclipse will be at 0.190 magnitude.

22nd September - Annular eclipse of the Sun.
An annular eclipse is when the Moon appears too small to cover the Sun and a ring of the Sun's surface remains showing at mid-eclipse.

The path of this annular eclipse begins in Guyana at 09:48 UT when the Moon's antumbral shadow meets the Earth and forms a 323 kilometre wide corridor. Guyana's capital, Georgetown, lies just a few kilometres outside the path's northern limit and will witness a 0.920 magnitude partial eclipse at sunrise. On the central line 160 kilometres south, the duration of annularity is 5 minutes 31 seconds.

Path of Solar Eclipse, September 2006 Moving quickly eastwards, the antumbra enters Surinam where the capital city of Paramaribo lies deep within the antumbral path. The eclipse in Paramaribo occurs at 09:51 UT, the Sun's altitude is 5° and the duration of annularity is 5 minutes 1 seconds. Continuing into French Guiana, the capital city Cayenne stands just 10 kilometres south of the central line and,here, maximum eclipse occurs at 09:53 UT as the Sun stands 8° above the eastern horizon during an annular phase lasting 5 minutes 42 seconds.

The southern edge of the antumbra briefly clips the north coast of Brazil before spending the next three and a half hours sweeping across the South Atlantic. Greatest eclipse occurs at 11:40:11 UT. The annular duration is 7 minutes 9 seconds, the path width is 261 kilometres and the Sun is 66° above the featureless horizon of the open ocean. The central track runs south of the African continent and nearly reaches Kerguelen Island before ending at local sunset (13:31 UT). During its 3 hour 40 minute flight across our planet, the Moon's antumbra travels about 13,800 kilometres and covers 0.83% of Earth's surface area.

Partial phases of this eclipse are visible primarily from South America and Africa.

Other Eclipse Information:
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