2015: September 13 Partial Eclipse in South Africa

A set of photos of the September 13, 2013, partial solar eclipse photographed by Jay Pasachoff from L’Agulhas, the south point of Africa (where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet).  The photos were taken with a Nikkor 500-mm lens on a Nikon D600 camera through a Thousand Oaks Optical Co. solar filter (which passes only about 1 part in a million of the incident sunlight).  The partial eclipse was a maximum of about 78% in Antarctica, and the 43% coverage of the solar diameter by the moon that was viewed from L’Agulhas was the maximum possible on land outside Antarctica.  The percentage coverage diminishes farther north in Africa, petering out about halfway up.

The sky was mostly cloudy but the eclipse was visible between and through clouds for most of the time, especially for a few minutes about 10 minutes in and then for most of the time from about maximum eclipse through the end.  Occasionally, the cloud density was sufficient to allow the shape of the eclipsed sun to be visible without even a solar filter, providing the factor of about a million in absorption.

The eclipse observers included:

Jay Pasachoff, Chair, IAU Working Group on Eclipses

Michael Kentrianakis, New York, USA; new Project Manager of the American Astronomical Society’s Eclipse 2017 Project

Robert Lucas, Australia

Noorali Jiwaji, Tanzania

Lesley Paige Campbell, New York, USA

Xavier Jubier, France

hosted by Liesa Schwarzenbek, L’Agulhas, South Africa

email contact: [email protected]

Early views of the 13 Sept 2015 partial eclipse from L’Agulhas, at the southern tip of Africa

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Views of the eclipse with the SunWatcher with Active Pixels (SWAP) instrument on the European Space Agency’s PROBA2 spacecraft, based at the Royal Observatory of Belgium with the project headed there by our alumnus Daniel B. Seaton ’01.





Maps by Michael Zeiler, GreatAmericanEclipse.com



See a full set of images and other materials from Williams College’s and Jay Pasachoff’s eclipse expeditions at http://totalsolareclipse.org

Cape Town Press Release: Sept 13, 2015

Michael Zeiler’s maps of visibility of the Sept 13, 2015, partial eclipse

Sky and Telescope

Jörg Schoppmeyer

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory


DISCOVR Satellite’s Lunar-Occultation Images

composites of Jay Pasachoff’s images made by Muzhou Lu (Williams College ’13, now at University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Ph.D. student in the focus area of Remote Sensing Earth and Space Sciences)

PSE2015.001 PSE2015.002 PSE2015.003 PSE2015.004 PSE2015.005 PSE2015.006