Eclipses of the Sun or Moon occur when the Earth, Sun and Moon are in alignment.

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Travel Notes: Travel Articles: Solar and Lunar Eclipses -- Travel Writers


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Eclipse 99:
On Wednesday, August 11th 1999, a total eclipse of the Sun was visible from within a narrow corridor which traversed the Eastern Hemisphere.

About Eclipses
More about solar and lunar eclipses.

Eclipse Chasing
Some people make a habit of travelling around the world to see the moon's shadow.

Eclipse Path
Where the total solar eclipse travelled on August 11th, 1999.

Past Eclipses
A look back at the effect of total solar eclipses on people and places in the past.

Future Eclipses
After reading through the eclipse pages @ Travel Notes, you may want to know where to plan your next eclipse experience.

Eclipse Library
Further reading on the subject of total solar eclipses.

More About Eclipses

Eclipses of the Sun or Moon occur when the Earth, Sun and Moon are in alignment.

A solar eclipse occurs when the New Moon passes directly between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out the sun's rays and casting a giant shadow on our planet.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Full Moon passes into the shadow of the Earth.

From some point or other on Earth, there may be up to seven eclipses in any one year. Solar eclipses are less common than lunar eclipses.

Solar Eclipses:
Because the Moon is much smaller than the Earth, its shadow can only cover a small part of the Earth's surface and solar eclipses are only seen from a small portion of the planet.

Partial eclipses occur when the moon only blocks out part of the sun. People who see a partial eclipse are in the moon's penumbra.

Those who see totality are in the umbra -- where the whole sun is blocked out by the moon and a total shadow is cast;giving the effect of dusk or even night time -- the animals think it is.

Although the Sun is 400 times the diameter of the Moon it's also 400 times further away. This makes a total eclipse possible.

As the Earth's orbit around the Sun is not quite circular the Moon may pass in front of the Sun, but the outer ring of the Sun's disk will still be visible. This is called an annular eclipse.

During totality, when the light from the bright disk of the Sun is blocked out by the Moon, the sky looks like night with stars and planets clearly visible. The whitish glow around the eclipsed Sun is called a corona.

The length of totality depends on how close the Moon is to the Earth. The 1999 eclipse reached a maximum totality of 2 minutes 23 seconds in Romania, with partial phases lasting hours.

During a 1999 total of 3 hours 7 minutes, the Moon's shadow, cloudless skies permitting, will have travelled along a path of 14,000 kilometres, covering 0.2% of Earth's surface area.

Never look at the Sun through a telescope or binoculars. The eye is an optical instrument and you will burn your retina, much the same as a magnifying glass can burn paper when the sun is directed through it.

It is even dangerous to look at the Sun with the naked-eye, although it is completely safe to look at the Sun during the brief period of total eclipse itself.

Partial eclipses, or the partial phase of a total eclipse, should not be viewed without eye protection. There are special glasses for this purpose. Do not use normal sunglasses.

Travel Notes takes no responsibility for the actions of others when viewing solar eclipses.

Get proper safety advice and enjoy the experience of a solar eclipse safely.

Eclipse Safety Code:
Looking at the sun at any time is potentially dangerous and can result in serious eye damage or blindness. A solar eclipse can be observed safely by following the DOs and DON’Ts.

Travel Notes' 1999 Eclipse Report:
Total solar eclipse from Lake Balaton on August 11th, 1999.

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