3 October 2005

Annular Eclipse in Portugal & Spain

It seems like the whole population of the Iberian peninsula was outside this morning wearing goggles and watching the eclipse. The path of the eclipse then swept across Africa.

An annular eclipse differs from a total eclipse in that the Moon appears too small to completely cover the Sun. As a result, the Moon is surrounded by an intensely brilliant ring or annulus formed by the uneclipsed outer perimeter of the Sun's disk. The solar corona is not visible during annular eclipses.

According to Yahoo News:
"The event began with the moon taking a bite off the top of the sun.

During an annular eclipse, the moon masks the sun like a black plate, leaving a bright, fiery rim. The moon was too small to blot out the sun completely, as in a total eclipse, because its elliptical orbit has taken it too far from the earth.

However, the moon dims the daylight and drops temperatures slightly.

The rim of fire that appears around the moon glows brighter than the corona that is seen during a total eclipse."

Wow - it's moments like this when I really miss Portugal.

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