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Galapagos Islands Total Eclipse - Galapagos 26.02.1998

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Ecuador Galapagos Ecuador tours Galapagos cruises Galapagos trips Ecuador Galapagos Islands Total Eclipse - Galapagos 26.02.1998:


Eclipse, obscuring of one astronomical object by another. A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is between the sun and the moon and its shadow darkens the moon. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon is between the sun and the earth and its shadow moves across the earth.

Solar Eclipses


Total solar eclipses occur when the moon's umbra reaches the earth. If the moon passes between the earth and the sun and its shadow does not reach the earth, an annular eclipse may occur, in which an annulus or bright ring of the solar disk appears around the black disk of the moon. In areas outside the moon's umbra but within the penumbra, a partial eclipse occurs. A total solar eclipse typically lasts only about three minutes.

The moon begins to move across the solar disk about one hour before total eclipse. At totality, sunlight dims to resemble bright moonlight. This sunlight comes from the corona (the outermost part of the sun's atmosphere). As the visible sun narrows to a thin crescent, the corona appears. At the moment before totality, brilliant points of light, called Baily's beads, flash out. These points are caused by the sun shining through irregularities on the lunar surface. Baily's beads also appear at emersion, when totality is ending.

Total Eclipse - Galapagos


Next Thursday 26th February the new moon will cross in front of the solar disc, thus making a solar eclipse. This will be partial in most of the American territory, and total on a narrow band of earth's surface. Luckily this will be over a part of the galapagos islands.

This narrow band, called "umbra", is produced by the shadow of the moon completely covering the sun. The first contac over the earth's surface will occur over the Pacifi Ocean, just at dawn.

The band will cross the northern part of the Galapagos Islands, the south extreme of Panama, the north of Colombia, the north of Venezuela and Caribean islands like Aruba, Curacao, Guadalupe, Antigua and Monserrat. Finally it will disappear over the Atlantic Ocean at sunrise.

In continental Ecuador, the first contact ( the moment when the lunar disc begins to cover the solar disc) will occur at 11h03. The total eclipse, when the moon will cover 80% of the solar disc, will happen at 12h36. Finally, the last contact, when the eclipse finishes, will happen at 14h08.

In the north of Galapagos, over the narrow band just 150 kms wide, the total event will occur at 12h00 (Galapagos time) and will last 3 minutes 9 seconds.

The following graphs give you detailed information about all American places where is posible to watch the eclipse and the total area over the Galapagos Islands.

Frequency of Eclipses


Eclipses occur only when the moon or the sun is close to the two points, called the nodes, where the orbital planes of the earth and the moon intersect. Both the sun and the moon periodically return to the same position relative to one of the nodes, so eclipses recur at regular intervals. The time of the interval, called the saros, is about 18 years, 9 to 11 days, depending on the number of intervening leap years, and 8 hours. The saros, known since the time of ancient Babylonia, is almost exactly 19 returns of the sun to the same node, 242 returns of the moon to the same node, and 223 lunar months. During one saros about 70 eclipses take place, usually 29 lunar and 41 solar; of the latter, usually 10 are total and 31 partial. Eclipses in the 20th century number 375: 228 solar and 147 lunar.

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