Solar Eclipse 2001 June 21 

I travelled to Zimbabwe for the first total solar eclipse of the third millennium. It was viewed under perfect conditions from the rural north eastern region of the country in the afternoon of 2001 June 21. Here's my report.

Of the many highlights of our trip were views of  Great Zimbabwe, Victoria Falls and wild animals seen close-up on Safari.

Observers setting up equipment and discussing the prospects before the eclipse commenced.
Approximately an hour into the eclipse, a tree projects pin hole images of the crescent sun onto the sand.
At mid eclipse showing magnificent detail in the outer corona. Three second exposure through 1000mm lens combination at f/16.
A few seconds before third contact showing the inner corona and over-exposed chromosphere. 1/15s exposure through 1000mm lens combination at f/16.
Third contact diamond ring. Note the prominences and chromosphere. 1/30s exposure through 1000mm lens combination at f/16.
A montage constructed from individual images showing the progress of the eclipse with approximate timings.
Another montage showing the diamond rings and totality.
2001progress vsm.jpg (3567 bytes) The eclipse captured on a single frame (uncropped) of slide film. First contact occurred at the upper right and fourth contact at lower left. Images were taken 10 minutes apart; 100ASA, 28-200mm zoom lens at 40mm, partial phases 1/250s at f/8 with OD5 solar filter on the front of the lens; totality 1/2s, no filter. (There was a slight technical problem for the first three images and a couple of mistakes too! No one is perfect!)


An animation generated from images taken before, during and after totality (118Kb). Approximately 3 seconds elapsed between each diamond ring image.
A plot showing how the temperature in the shade was affected during the eclipse.

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