Partial Solar Eclipse from The Netherlands

January 05, 2011

Photographer: Kosmas Gazeas
Summary Author: Kosmas Gazeas; Jim Foster

January 2011 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice

A partial solar eclipse, the first eclipse of 2011, occurred yesterday (January 4) and was visible over much of Europe, North Africa and Central Asia. The penumbral shadow first reached the Earth over northern Algeria (at 06:40:11 UT). It then moved eastward across the Middle East and Central Asia. This was a sunrise eclipse in Western Europe as shown above in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

An eclipse is termed "partial" when the Sun, Moon and Earth are not in perfect alignment -- the Moon only covers a portion of the solar disk. Partial solar eclipses, though fascinating, are rather banal compared to total solar eclipses. However, they can be viewed by many more people since the umbra of a solar eclipse is considerably narrower than a partial eclipse's penumbra. Three additional partial solar eclipses and two total lunar eclipses are on the celestial docket for 2011. Only six times in the 21st century will this sequence of eclipses occur (four partial solar and two total lunar).

Photo details: Camera Maker: Canon; Camera Model: Canon EOS 30D; Focal Length: 500 mm; Aperture: f/5.6; Exposure Time: 0.013 s (1/80); ISO equiv: 125; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Spot; Exposure: Manual; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Manual; Flash Fired: No (enforced); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: sRGB; Maksutov-Cassegrain Lens; 1.4X focal extender; no solar filter used.