On Friday, 2006 September 22, an annular eclipse of the Sun will be visible from within a narrow corridor which traverses half the Earth. The path of the Moon's antumbral shadow begins in northern South America and crosses the South Atlantic with no further landfall. A partial eclipse will be seen from a much larger region including South America, the eastern Caribbean, western Africa, and Antarctica (Figure 5 [OH2006]).
The path of the annular eclipse begins in Guyana at 09:48 UT when the Moon's antumbral shadow meets Earth and forms a 323 kilometre wide corridor (Figure 6 [OH2006]). Guyana's capitol city Georgetown lies just a few kilometres outside the path's northern limit. Here, a magnitude 0.920 partial eclipse will be seen at sunrise. On the central line 160 kilometres south, the duration of annularity is 5 minutes 31 seconds (color map [Anderson]).
Rushing east, the antumbra quickly enters Surinam where its capital city Paramaribo lies deep within the antumbral path. Maximum 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 capitol city Cayenne stands just 10 kilometres south of the central line. 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. Path coordinates and central line circumstances are presented in Table 3 [OH2006].
Partial phases of the eclipse are visible primarily from South America and Africa. Local circumstances for a number of cities are listed in Table 4 [OH2006]. All times are given in Universal Time. The Sun's altitude and azimuth, the eclipse magnitude and obscuration are all given at the instant of maximum eclipse.
This is the 16th eclipse of Saros 144. The series began with the first of eight partial eclipses on 1736 Apr 11. The first central eclipse was annular in the Southern Hemisphere on 1880 Jul 07. The series will produce 39 annular eclipses the last of which is 2565 Aug 27. The series terminates on 2980 May 05 after 23 more partial eclipses. Complete details for Saros 144 may be found at:
Additional and supplemental material for the 2006 eclipse will be published here in the coming months.
An implementation of Google Map has been created which includes the central path of the 2006 annular solar eclipse. This allows the user to sellect any portion of the path and to zoom in using either map data or Earth satellite data.
All eclipse calculations are by Fred Espenak, and he assumes full responsibility for their accuracy. Permission is freely granted to reproduce this data when accompanied by an acknowledgment:
"Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC"
For more information, see: NASA Copyright Information