Madrid - Annular Eclipse of 3 October 2005

The picture above was published in the Dutch popular science magazine Zenit (December 2005, page 577). It was taken just before the so-called 3rd contact.

My location in the Juan Carlos I park close to the central line

On the evening of Sunday October 2nd I flew from Amsterdam to Madrid to observe the annular solar eclipse the next day. On Monday the sky was clear, and I walked from my Sofitel Airport Hotel to the Parque Juan Carlos I, only a few hundred meters from the central line of the eclipse, at 4027'40"N and 336'44"W.

I was not the only one there. Many people had come from across Europe. Besides Spanish I heard French, German and English, as well as Dutch. Although very sunny, there was a cold wind, and you could note the temperature drop during the maximum eclipse.

After the end of the eclipse I took the hotel shuttle to the airport and flew back to the Netherlands.

The series of pictures below show how the eclipse developed from 9:40 local time onwards.

My equipment was a Canon 300D and a F/4 70-200 mm zoomlens + 1.4 extender and a self fabricated filter made of Astrosolar foil.  This was the equivalent of a 450 mm on a 24x36 SLR. ISO was set at 200, and exposure time was 1/1000s at f/5.6, i.e. full aperture. I also brought my Coronado 10x25 White Light binoculars, and some spare eclipse-googles that were highly appreciated by the people who came out of neighbouring offices to watch the eclipse.

Coronado Binomite 10x25


The pictures above are taken around the end of the annular phase. One can clearly see some dark spots on the bottom. These are caused by irregularities on the lunar limb, or in plain English by mountains and valleys on the moon. The bright spots are called Baily's Beads, after Francis Baily who first observed these in 1836.

The picture above shows the path plotted with Google Earth. To download the full path in Google Earth format
click here. Save this file, and make sure you keep the .kml extension. You can then drag and drop the file on Google Earth.

The animation on the left side shows the path of the eclipse. The red dot indicated the location where the eclipse is annular. In the shaded area around the dot only a partial eclipse was visible. Please note that the time on the animation is given in Universal Time (UT), which is two hours early compared to the local time in Western Europe.

This animation and the path calculations are taken from the Nasa website maintained by eclipse expert Fred Espenak NASA/GSFC, a.k.a Mr. Eclipse. There is a special page with tonnes of information about this October 3,  2005 eclipse.