Tonight's Sky
Sun
Sun
Moon
Moon
Mercury
Mercury
Venus
Venus
Mars
Mars
Jupiter
Jupiter
Saturn
Saturn

Tonight's Sky — Change location

OR

Searching...

Tonight's Sky — Select location

Tonight's Sky — Enter coordinates

° '
° '

Eclipse success at sea

For 36 seconds, the Moon covered the Sun in the South Pacific.
Totality from M/S <i>Paul Gaugin</i>
The Sun broke through the clouds just as totality began on April 8. Pink prominences and the pearly corona rim the silhouetted Moon. Equipment used: William Optics 80mm Megrez II refractor and Canon EOS 10D digital camera.
Mike Reynolds
April 11, 2005
Astronomy magazine and Astronomical Tours hosted a group of 50 travelers for Friday's total solar eclipse. Three hundred shipmates from other tours joined us aboard the M/S Paul Gauguin, captained by Gilles Boussard.

Meteorite specialist Mike Reynolds and I led the group. We were both gratified by how well our pre-eclipse talks had been received.
Diamond ring at third contact, April 8, 2005
The diamond-ring effect heralded the end of the eclipse's brief totality. Equipment used: William Optics 80mm Megrez II refractor and Canon EOS 10D digital camera.
Mike Reynolds
Eclipse day began cloudy, but the ship was still 15 nautical miles (28 kilometers) from our pre-determined destination. At approximately 10:30 local time (18h30m UT), the Moon took a small bite out of the top of the Sun as the eclipse began. For the next 87 minutes, clouds came and went, the air grew cooler, and darkness began to fall. Four minutes before totality, clouds hid the Sun, but the ship never veered from its course.

At the last moment, the Sun emerged from the clouds and the diamond ring appeared just before totality began. Through binoculars, red prominences and the silvery corona left viewers awestruck. Venus appeared as a brilliant starlike object 2 degrees east (right) of the Sun. We saw no other planets or stars.

"Give Captain Boussard lots of credit," said Reynolds, "He was totally flexible and a joy to work with. I've seen three eclipses aboard ship, and this was in many ways the most dramatic."

Everyone aboard cheered loudly in unison when the ship's horn blared at totality's end. Among happiness, amazement, and relief, one thought predominated: Let's get ready for the next total eclipse March 29, 2006!
0

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of Astronomy.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
ADVERTISEMENT

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Receive news, sky-event information, observing tips, and more from Astronomy's weekly email newsletter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
BoxProductcovernov

Click here to receive a FREE e-Guide exclusively from Astronomy magazine.

Find us on Facebook

Loading...