2002 2003 2005H 2005A 2006 2007L 2008 2009 2010 2011L 2012A 2012T

Information on past eclipses

Total Solar Eclipse

Antarctica - November 23, 2003

To see this total solar eclipse you had to be in or near Antarctica. There were several expeditions to view and photograph this eclipse: a Russian icebreaker, which left two weeks earlier from Cape Town, South Africa; a Russian Ilyushin 76TD cargo plane that also departed from Cape Town and landed on the ice; a chartered LAN Chile Airbus A340 jet out of Punta Arenas, Chile; and a chartered Qantas Boeing 747-400 out of Melbourne, Australia.

The following photographs are from the Qantas flight.

Image #835 was photographed from seat 65B straight out clean windows at 9:45 Local Time 24/11/03 (22:45 UTC 23/11/03). The moon completely covered the sun's photosphere. The sun's corona was very pronounced and brilliant white with very dark, clear skies. This photo was taken approximately 1 minute into totality. On the ground, the duration of totality was up to 1m 57secs. From our vantage point of 35,000 ft. and flying at Mach 0.87, totality lasted 2m 30secs.

Image #848 shows the sun beginning to overtake the moon. This "Diamond Ring" was absolutely dazzling to the eye.

Image #850. All photos were taken using a hand-held digital SLR Canon 10D with a 300mm lens, image stabilization and manual focus.[1/60 f5.6 ISO400]

Image #852 is within split seconds from the previous photo. It was the most beautiful diamond ring I had ever seen. The corona is still very visible on the opposing side

In image #854, the sun's photosphere was so bright that I could no longer look through the view lens. I kept releasing the shutter hoping to get this picture.

This map is courtesy of Fred Espenak and Jay Anderson, NASA.

Qantas Flight 2901 location was: 60° 59'S 93° 01'E

Clear skies prevailing, most of Australia, New Zealand and the southern tip of South America were able to view a partial solar eclipse the morning of the 24th of November.

A special thanks to Captain John Dennis and crew of QF2901 - Glenn Schneider of Steward Observatory, University of Arizona who calculated the flight plan - Phil Asker and staff of Croydon Travel responsible for chartering the Qantas Boeing 747-400 - Susan Walker in seat 65C and Jim Blanksby in seat 65A who shared his window.

Howard Anton Duncan
Oceanside, California (December 2003)


Another shot taken from the Qantas Boeing 747-400 by Professor Jay Pasachoff the Director of Hopkins Observatory. or

Last Update 7/3/10