The Great European Eclipse of 1999
Welcome to the special page of the Sky over Berlin to the big astronomical event before the end of the millennium, the Great European Eclipse at the 11th of August, 1999. In Berlin this event wasn't that spectacular: here the occultations started at 11:21h MEST, had its maximum of ca. 87 percent at 12:40h MEST, and ended at 13:59h MEST.
Not shown at the Earth animation is the atmosphere, which played a main role about the visibility of the event. At that day a partly dense cloud band was moving from South England to the Northern Alpes with another Low moving into Hungaria and Romania. There were only small gaps between the clouds, so that north of Karlsruhe, Ulm and Augsburg, in and around Salzburg, within the eastern Lower Austria and in parts of Hungaria the exciting look to the occulted Sun was possible...
The introducing image sequence (218kB GIF animation) is a collection of pictures, taken east of Salzburg near Eldenau (in Austria). All images were taken with a Celestron C5+ (1250mm/f10) and a Pentax MZ-M (on Kodak Gold 100). The pictures before and after totality were made with an additional selfmade solar filter.
Onto the higher clouds minutes before and after the event rainbow colors were visible. Scared swallows were flying around and butterflies without orientation were bumping against a house wall. But there were no bigger winds coming up, predicted with the advancement of the core shadow, and it was not getting much colder. Reason for this might be the valley-like surrounding of the location.
The total eclipse began at around 11:40h MET. Besides of the Sun and the Moon the most distinct object at the sky was Venus. It was not possible to identify Mercury, although other stars were visible. (Turning the telescope around was something I wanted to avoid.) The photos of the totality are starting with an exposure time 1/500th second and ending with about 1/2 second.
With the naked eye there were the wider corona *and* the nicely rose glowing protuberances noticable, where on the images only one or the other can be made visible.
One astonishing detail of the eclipse was the free floating protuberance above the upper right sector, showing like a marker where the Sun would reappear from behind the Moon. Within the time of the totality it seemed to move with a slow grave motion.
The next visible solar eclipse in Berlin is the local partial solar eclipse at the 3rd of October 2005 (ca. 40% occultation). The next total solar eclipse in central Europe will take place at September 3rd, 2081, maybe visible around Salzburg, again. But the next total solar eclipse next to Europe will be the eclipse von 2006, where the central line will go through Small Asia at March 29. - The next total eclipse visible in Berlin will take place at October 7th, 2135.
Millions of people were able to see the event. The following pages have more images and informations about the GEE'99, future or past eclipses and similar events:
created 1998-09-10 - modified 1999-07-30 - modified 1999-09-18 - modified 1999-10-01 - modified 1999-12-12 - modified 2002-10-01 - linkupdate 2003-09-08 - modified 2004-08-12
-- jd --