Total Solar Eclipse Viewed from Gabon Africa

November 18, 2013

Solar eclipse 2

Photographer: Constantine Emmanouilidi 
Summary Authors: Constantine Emmanouilidi; Jim Foster

November 2013 Viewer's Choice The photo above shows the total solar eclipse of November 3, 2013, as observed approximately 30 mi (48 km) north of Lambarene, Gabon – almost on the Equator. One of the most interesting aspects of this eclipse is that while some sections of the eclipse path were annular other portions were total. Because the Moon's disk was barely big enough to cover the Sun at our location, called Banguie IV, we were able to detect stray sunlight streaming through the lunar landscape. Along the path of totality, this was projected to viewers on Earth as stunning Bailey’s Beads and diamond rings. The length of totality at our observing site was 62 seconds -- the longest possible duration over land for this particular eclipse. The combination of high-quality telescope optics, new state-of-the-art DSLR cameras and good seeing conditions permitted the very fine level of detail visible here in the structure of the solar corona. Of course, never look directly at the Sun. It was quite risky traveling to Gabon to witness this eclipse since November is often rainy in Gabon. We had rain the morning of the eclipse. Fortunately though, the rainy weather cleared in time for us to see the amazing spectacle of totality.