Eclipses During 2005

Fred Espenak
Published in Observer's Handbook 2005, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

During the year 2005, there will be two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses:

Predictions and maps for the solar and lunar eclipses are presented in a number of figures linked to this document. World maps show the regions of visibility for each eclipse. The lunar eclipse diagrams also include the path of the Moon through Earth's shadows. Contact times for each principal phase are tabulated along with the magnitudes and geocentric coordinates of the Sun and Moon at greatest eclipse.

All times and dates used in this publication are in Universal Time or UT. This astronomically derived time system is colloquially referred to as Greenwich Mean Time or GMT. To learn more about UT and how to convert UT to your own local time, see Time Zones and Universal Time.

2005 Apr 08: Hybrid Solar Eclipse

The first solar eclipse of 2005 is of an uncommon type known as either annular-total or hybrid. This is a unique class of central[1] eclipse where some sections of the path are annular while other parts are total. The duality comes about when the vertex of the Moon's umbral shadow pierces the Earth's surface at some points, but falls short of the planet along other sections of the path. The unusual geometry is due to the curvature of the Earth's surface which brings some geographic locations into the umbra while other positions are more distant and enter the antumbral rather than umbral shadow. In most cases (like in 2005), the central path begins annular, changes to total for the middle portion of the track, and reverts back to annular towards the end of the path. However it is also possible for the central path to begin annular and end total (e.g. - 2013 Nov 03) or vice versa (e.g. - 2386 Apr 29). Since these events occur near the vertex of the Moon's umbral/antumbral shadows, the central path is typically quite narrow.

The hybrid eclipse of 2005 will be visible from within a thin corridor, which traverses the Southern Hemisphere (Figure 1).The path of the Moon's shadow begins southeast of New Zealand and stretches across the Pacific Ocean to Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. A partial eclipse will be seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes New Zealand, much of the South Pacific, South and North America.

The central eclipse track begins at 18:54 UT as a 28 kilometre wide annular path with a duration of 28 seconds. However, the path quickly narrows to 0 kilometres within the first 13 minutes of its trajectory some 2200 kilometres south of Tahiti. Continuing along its northeastern course, the path is now total as it rapidly expands in width. Unfortunately, no Pacific islands of any size fall within the path of totality. At 19:48 UT, the umbral shadow passes north and just grazes Oeno Island (near Pitcarn). The 21 kilometre wide path now has a central duration of 31 seconds with the Sun 56° above the horizon.

At greatest eclipse[2] (20:35:46 UT), the duration of totality is 42 seconds and the path width is 27 kilometres. As the shadow proceeds along its watery trajectory, the path begins to narrow as the length of totality decreases. The path becomes annular again at 22:00 UT about 800 kilometres due north of the Galapagos Islands and 900 kilometres west of Central America. By the time the shadow reaches the coast of Costa Rica (22:09 UT), the annular phase will already be 12 seconds and growing. The track width increases from 11 to 33 kilometres as it sweeps across Panama (Figure 2), Colombia, and Venezuela. Finally the central path ends in Venezuela where a 33 seconds annular eclipse will occur at sunset (22:18 UT). Over the course of 3 hours and 24 minutes, the Moon's central shadow traverses a 14,200 kilometre long track covering a scant 0.06% of the Earth's surface area. Path coordinates and central line circumstances are presented on Table 1.

Local circumstances for a number of cities are given in Table 2A-2DAll times are provided in Universal Time. Sun's altitude and azimuth, the eclipse magnitude[3] and obscuration[4 are all listed for the instant of maximum eclipse. Additional maps, tables, and prediction details are available at NASA's 2005 hybrid solar eclipse web site: Hybrid Solar Eclipses for 2005. A special web site have been set up for eclipse observers in the USA: 2005 Partial Solar Eclipse in the USA.

This is the 51st eclipse of Saros series 129. The series began with 20 partial eclipses, the first of which was on 1103 Oct 03. The first annular eclipse occurred on 1464 May 06. The series continued to produce annular eclipses until the hybrid eclipse of 1987 Mar 29. Another hybrid will occur in 2023 Apr 20. The following events will all be total eclipses. The series ends with 19 partial eclipses, the last of which occurs on 2528 Feb 21. Complete details for Saros 129 may be found at Saros 129.

2005 Apr 24 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

The year's first lunar eclipse is a deep penumbral event visible from most of the Western Hemisphere. First and last penumbral occurrences occur at 07:50 UT and 12:00 UT, respectively. The Moon's path through the Earth's penumbra as well as a map showing worldwide visibility of the event is shown in (Figure 3). Observers in eastern North America will experience moonset before the eclipse ends, but those further west will be able to witness the entire event.

Penumbral eclipses are difficult to observe. Nevertheless, a subtle yet distinct shading should be visible across the northern half of the Moon, especially during the one hour period centered on maximum. Greatest eclipse occurs at 09:55 UT with a penumbral eclipse magnitude of 0.890. The northern limb actually passes within 4.4 arc-minutes of the umbra while the southern limb remains outside the penumbra throughout the event.

2005 Oct 03: Annular Solar Eclipse

The second solar eclipse of 2005 is confined to the Eastern Hemisphere. The track of the annular eclipse crosses the Iberian Peninsula and stretches across the African continent. Europe, Western Asia, the Middle East, India and most of Africa will fall within the Moon's penumbral shadow(Figure 4).

The path of the annular eclipse begins in the North Atlantic at 08:41 UT where the Moon's antumbral shadow meets Earth and forms 222 kilometre wide corridor. Rushing southeast, the antumbra quickly reaches the coast of Spain and Portugal (08:51 UT). At this location, the path is 195 kilometres wide and the central duration of the annular phase is 04m 07s. Porto, Portugal lies just outside the southern limit of the central track and will witness a partial eclipse of magnitude 0.943 with the Sun 24° above the horizon. Bisecting the Iberian Peninsula (Figure 5), the antumbra engulfs Madrid (08:56 UT) which lies near the central line. The annular phase will last 04m 11s from this capital city with 90% of the Sun's surface being obscured by the Moon. Along the Spanish Mediterranean coast, the city of Valencia also enjoys 03m 38s annular phase at a solar elevation of 32°.

Isla de Ibiza straddles the northern path limit as the shadow crosses the Western Mediterranean. Upon reaching the African continent, Algiers lies within the shadow's trajectory (09:05 UT) and will experience an annularity of 03m 51s with the Sun 36° high. Following a southeastern course, the antumbra passes through southern Tunisia and central Libya where the Moon's umbral shadow will return six months later during the total eclipse of 2006 Mar 29. After briefly skirting through northern Chad, the antumbra sweeps across central Sudan where greatest eclipse occurs at 10:31:42 UT. The annular duration is 4m 31s, the path width is 162 kilometres and the Sun is 71° above the desolate desert landscape.

The central track runs along the southern Sudanese-Ethiopian border before entering northern Kenya where it engulfs much of Lake Rudolf (11:10 UT). The central duration here is still 4m 30s. Southernmost Somalia is the antumbra's final landfall (11:30 UT) before heading across the Indian Ocean where the path ends at local sunset (12:22 UT). During its 3 hour 41 minute flight across our planet, the Moon's antumbra travels about 14,100 kilometres and covers 0.57% of the Earth's surface. Path coordinates and central line circumstances are presented in Table 3

Partial phases of the eclipse are visible primarily from Europe, Africa and western Asia. Local circumstances for a number of cities are given in Tables 4A-4D. All times are provided in Universal Time. The Sun's altitude and azimuth, the eclipse magnitude and obscuration are all listed for the instant of maximum eclipse. Additional maps, tables, and prediction details are available at NASA's 2005 annular solar eclipse web site: Annular Solar Eclipses for 2005

This is the 43rd eclipse of Saros series 134. The series began with the first of ten partial eclipses on 1248 Jun 22. The first eight central eclipses were total, which were then followed by sixteen hybrid events. The first purely annular eclipse occurred on 1861 Jul 08. After the last of thirty annular eclipses (on 2384 May 21), the series will produce seven more partial eclipses before ending on 2510 Aug 06. Complete details for Saros 134 may be found at Saros 134

A special web page has been set up for this eclipse:

2005 Oct 17: Partial Lunar Eclipse

The last event of the year is a rather shallow partial eclipse of the Moon. The penumbral phase begins at 09:51 UT, but most observers will not be able to visually detect the shadow until about 10:30 UT A timetable for the major phases of the eclipse is as follows:

             Penumbral Eclipse Begins:   09:51:25 UT
               Partial Eclipse Begins:   11:33:59 UT
                     Greatest Eclipse:   12:03:18 UT
                 Partial Eclipse Ends:   12:32:26 UT
               Penumbral Eclipse Ends:   14:15:08 UT

In spite of the fact that the eclipse is so shallow (the Moon's southern limb dips just 2.2 arc-minutes into Earth's dark umbral shadow), the partial phase last nearly one hour. This is due to the grazing geometry of the Moon and umbra

At the instant of greatest eclipse (12:03 UT), the Moon will stand near the zenith for observers in the central Pacific. At that time, the umbral eclipse magnitude will be only 0.068. North Americans will all see the start of the event, but the Moon sets by mid-eclipse for observers east of the Mississippi River and Great Lakes. Further west, the entire event is visible from the Pacific coast provinces and states as well as eastern Asia and Australia. The Moon's path through Earth's shadows as well as a map illustrating worldwide visibility of the event is shown in (Figure 6)

Eclipse Altitudes and Azimuths

The altitude a and azimuth A of the Sun or Moon during an eclipse depends on the time and the observer's geographic coordinates. They are calculated as follows:

             h  = 15 (GST + UT - ra ) + l
             a  =  ArcSin  [ Sin d Sin f + Cos d Cos h Cos f ]
             A  =  ArcTan  [ - (Cos d Sin h) / (Sin d Cos f -  Cos d Cos h Sin f) ]

             h  =  Hour Angle of Sun or Moon
             a  =  Altitude
             A  =  Azimuth
           GST  =  Greenwich Sidereal Time at 0:00 UT
            UT  =  Universal Time
            ra  =  Right Ascension of Sun or Moon
             d  =  Declination of Sun or Moon
             l  =  Observer's Longitude (East +, West -)
             f  =  Observer's Latitude (North +, South -)
During the eclipses of 2005, the values for GST and the geocentric Right Ascension and Declination of the Sun or the Moon (at greatest eclipse) are as follows:

     Eclipse               Date          GST        ra        dec

     Hybrid Solar        2005 Apr 08     13.147      1.175      7.480
     Penumbral Lunar     2005 Apr 24     14.169     14.106    -13.909
     Annular Solar       2005 Oct 03      0.815     12.632     -4.084
     Partial Lunar       2005 Oct 17      1.739      1.465     10.250

Eclipses During 2006

In 2006, there will be two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses:

A full report Eclipses During 2006 will be published in the Observer's Handbook 2006.

Solar Eclipse Bulletins

Special bulletins containing detailed predictions and meteorological data for future solar eclipses of interest are prepared by F. Espenak and J. Anderson, and are published through NASA's Publication series. The bulletins are provided as a public service to both the professional and lay communities, including educators and the media. A list of currently available bulletins and an order form can be found at:

The latest bulletin in the series is Total Solar Eclipse of 2006 March 29. Single copies of the eclipse bulletins are available at no cost by sending a 9 by 12 inch self-addressed envelope stamped with postage for 11 ounces (310 grams. Please print the eclipse year on the envelope's lower left corner. Use stamps only, since cash or checks cannot be accepted. Requests from outside the U. S. and Canada may send ten international postal coupons. Mail requests to: Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Code 693, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, USA. The NASA eclipse bulletins are also available over the Internet, including out-of-print bulletins. Using a Web browser, they can be read or downloaded via the World-Wide Web from the GSFC/SDAC (Solar Data Analysis Center) eclipse page:


The original Microsoft Word text files and PICT figures (Macintosh format) are also available via anonymous ftp. They are stored as BinHex-encoded, StuffIt-compressed Mac folders with .hqx suffixes. For PC's, the text is available in a zip-compressed format in files with the .zip suffix. There are three sub directories for figures (GIF format), maps (JPEG format), and tables.

Eclipse Web Site

A special solar and lunar eclipse web site is available via the Internet at:

The site features predictions and maps for all solar and lunar eclipses well into the 21st century. Special emphasis is placed on eclipses occurring during the next two years with detailed path maps, tables, graphs and meteorological data. Additional catalogs list every solar and lunar eclipse over a 5000 year period.

Detailed information on solar and lunar eclipse photography and tips on eclipse observing and eye safety may be found at:


All eclipse predictions were generated on an Apple G4 iMac computer using algorithms developed from the Explanatory Supplement [1974] with additional algorithms from Meeus, Grosjean, and Vanderleen [1966]. The solar and lunar ephemerides were generated from Newcomb and the Improved Lunar Ephemeris by Eckert, Jones, and Clark(1954). For lunar eclipses, the diameter of the umbral shadow was enlarged by 2% to compensate for Earth's atmosphere and the effects of oblateness have been included. Text and table composition was done on a Macintosh using Microsoft Word. Additional figure annotation was performed with Claris MacDraw Pro.

All calculations, diagrams, tables and opinions presented in this paper are those of the author and he assumes full responsibility for their accuracy.

Special thanks to National Space Club summer intern Christopher Barrow for his valuable assistance in preparing this web page. (July 2004)


[1] A central eclipse is one in which the axis of the Moon's shadow sweeps across Earth's surface.

[2] The instant of greatest eclipse occurs when the distance between the Moon's shadow axis and Earth's geocentre reaches a minimum. Although greatest eclipse differs slightly from the instants of greatest magnitude and greatest duration (for total eclipses), the differences are quite small.

[3] Eclipse magnitude is defined as the fraction of the Sun's diameter occulted by the Moon

[4] Eclipse obscuration is defined as the fraction of the Sun's surface area occulted by the Moon.


Eckert, Jones and Clark, 1954 Improved Lunar Ephemeris 1952-1959, U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, DC.

Espenak, F., 1988, Fifty Year Canon of Solar Eclipses: 1986-2035, Sky Publishing Corp., Cambridge, MA.

Espenak, F., 1989, Fifty Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses: 1986-2035, Sky Publishing Corp., Cambridge, MA.

Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Ephemeris and the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, 1974, Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office, London.

Littmann, M., K. Willcox and F. Espenak, 1999, Totality - Eclipses of the Sun, Oxford University Press, New York.

Meeus, J., C. C. Grosjean, and W. Vanderleen, 1966, Canon of Solar Eclipses, Pergamon Press, New York.

Meeus, J. and H. Mucke, 1979, Canon of Lunar Eclipses: -2002 to +2526, Astronomisches Buro, Wien.

Newcomb, S., 1895, "Tables of the Motion of the Earth on its Axis Around the Sun", Astron. Papers Amer. Eph., Vol. 6, Part I.

2013 Dec 09