Just six months after it cast a part-annular, part-total eclipse onto the Pacific Ocean and Central America, the Moon will again pass across the face of the Sun on Monday, October 3rd, 2005 — this time creating an annular eclipse for parts of Spain, Portugal, and North and East Africa. The eclipse will be partial across all of Europe, most of Africa, and much of South Asia.

Find your spot and interpolate between the curves

This map shows what areas are affected by the eclipse and when to watch for it. At any point, the blue lines let you estimate the Universal Time (GMT) when the partial phase begins, and the red lines when it ends. Deepest eclipse is about midway between these times. The percent of the Sun's diameter covered by the Moon's 'bite' is given by the black curves. Click the map for a larger version.

Sky & Telescope diagram.

The center of the Moon's shadow will first touch Earth at sunrise in the Atlantic. It crosses the Iberian Peninsula in early morning, crosses the Sahara and East Africa during the height of the day, and leaves Earth at sunset in the Indian Ocean.

Unlike the April 8th annular eclipse, this one will feature a wide, bright ring of the Sun’s surface encircling the Moon's silhouette. The Moon, being near the apogee of its orbit (farthest from Earth), will appear only 96 percent as wide as the Sun. As a result, the maximum duration of annularity will be a lengthy 4 minutes 31 seconds — when the Sun is high overhead in central Sudan.

The map above tells the story. At any site, interpolate between the blue and red lines to find the Universal Times (Greenwich Mean Times) when the eclipse begins and ends, respectively. Maximum eclipse comes about halfway between these times. The black lines show what percent of the Sun’s diameter will be covered at that time.

For example, in the Strait of Gibraltar the eclipse begins at 7:40 UT (GMT) and ends at 10:24. Greatest coverage there (at 8:58 UT) is 84 percent of the Sun's diameter.

For more information, including detailed local predictions, see sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html. For how to observe or photograph a partial or annular eclipse safely, see our own eclipse page.

Partial-eclipse views

The Sun's appearance at greatest eclipse on October 3rd, as seen by an observer facing it from various cities and using a safe solar filter. Click image for larger view.

Sky & Telescope diagram.

Live webcasts of the eclipse are planned by the following people and groups. (This list is mostly courtesy of Fred Espenak's NASA site for the eclipse.)

annular eclipse

The annular eclipse of May 10, 1994, crossed the United States. This image was taken with an 8-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope from Ogunquit, Maine.

Sky & Telescope: Richard Tresch Fienberg.


You must be logged in to post a comment.