Hybrid Solar Eclipse
South Pacific Ocean – April 8, 2005
by Howard Anton Duncan (Oceanside California)
This event started as an annular eclipse at sea near New Zealand, crossed the dateline and transformed into a total eclipse South of Tahiti, becoming annular again over Central & South America. The Umbra, the moon’s shadow, barely reached Earth’s surface and averaged 16 to 19 kilometres wide at any given point. Totality lasted approximately 30 to 40 seconds depending on location. There were 3 major ship expeditions to intercept this eclipse.
The MV Discovery’s location on eclipse day, April 8th, was in the South Pacific Ocean near the Pitcairn Archipelagos. During totality, the ship’s position was Longitude 129° 38.7’W, Latitude 22° 37.2’S - Course 042°T - Speed 6.4 Knots - First contact (beginning of partial phase) 10:24:52 a.m. - Second contact (start of totality) 11:51:19 - Third contact (end of totality) 11:51:52 - Fourth contact (end of eclipse) ~13:22
The following photographs are from onboard the MV Discovery:
In preparation, eclipse chasers with every kind of telescope, video camera and/or still camera claimed a position on the Sky, Sun, Bridge, Promenade and Riviera decks. It was a gorgeous eclipse and everyone was pleased. Better than a class reunion, everyone talked about how great this eclipse was, how many eclipses they’ve seen, what part of the world they were in to view a past eclipse and where they’d be to see the next one.
A few days earlier, many embarked in Papeete, Tahiti on April 3rd and visited Moorea the following day. Pitcairn islanders came onboard April 7th. On April 11th & 12th we toured and taxied around Rapa Nui (aka Easter Island, Isla de Pascua, Ile de Pâques, etc.). The ship arrived in Pisco, Lima on April 18th. The majority of passengers disembarked in Lima, Peru on April 19th flying home or visiting the ruins of Machu Picchu via Cusco.
The 571 passengers on the MV Discovery represented 18 Nationalities: Argentina 1; Australia 23; Austria 2; Belgium 2; Canada 27; Czech Republic 2; France 2; Germany 17; Ireland 1; Italy 2; Japan 2; Netherlands 5; New Zealand 20; Singapore 1; South Africa 1; Sweden 4; United Kingdom 120; United States 315. The 303 crew members represented 22 Nationalities: Australia 2; Bulgaria 1; Croatia 1; Finland 1; France 1; Germany 4; Greece 2; Hungary 1; India 1; Ireland 2; Nepal 1; Norway 1; Philippines 233; Portugal 1; Romania 13; Russia 1:South Africa 2; Spain 1; Sweden 1; United Kingdom 20; Ukraine12; United States 1.
Onboard the MV Discovery, we enjoyed the company of Dr. Ed Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles. He was also the "Voice of the Eclipse" leading up to totality, on the speaker, giving us the countdown. Jay Anderson was our terrific weatherman giving great advice to Captain Erik Bjurstedt. On eclipse day, we had only wispy cirrus clouds. Dr. Richard Tresch Fienberg, editor in chief of Sky & Telescope shared his wealth of knowledge with passengers and crew. George Keene, 37 years with Eastman Kodak, freely gave advice to novice & professional photographers. This fantastic four presented individual and group lectures throughout the cruise.
Other luminaries that followed this eclipse were Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and Professor Jay Pasachoff, Williams College and National Geographic research grantee aboard the Galapagos Legend. Sky & Astrophotographer Dennis Mammana and Glenn Schneider, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona were on the MS Paul Gauguin. Paul Maley, NASA/Johnson Space Center Astronomical Society & his land expedition were in Panama.
Other Links regarding this eclipse:
MV Galapagos Legend - Fred Bruenjes: http://www.moonglow.net/eclipse/2005apr08/MV Discovery - Peter Deegan: http://eclipse2005.office-watch.com/
MV Discovery - Miloslav Druckmüller: http://www.zam.fme.vutbr.cz/~druck/Eclipse/index.htmMV Galapagos Legend - Fred Espenak: http://www.mreclipse.com/SEphoto/TSE2005/TSE2005galleryA.html
MV Discovery - Daniel Fischer: http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~dfischer/2005/Panama - Paul Maley: http://www.eclipsetours.com/results.html
MS Paul Gauguin - Glenn Schneider: http://nicmosis.as.arizona.edu:8000/UMBRAPHILLIA.html