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(New: major update with 2001 eclipse observation report!/Deutsch)

Just by accident a lucky mankind witnesses a rare coincidence: despite the steadily increasing distance Earth-Moon nowadays the current value is so well balanced, that due to the eccentricity of the orbits of the Earth around the Sun and of the Moon around the Earth the apparent diameters of Sun and Moon from Earths surface are very close and mostly the Moon just bigger appearing than the Sun, sometimes lower (the last leads to the so-called annular eclipses). During the Dinosaurs ruling the moon was nearer and covered a lot of the interesting parts of the Sun during ecplises too, this was much less spectacular, and in a few hundred million years the receding moon will no more be able to cover the Suns disk (aside from the also slowly increasing diameter of the Suns photosphere).

And these rare events, when the alignment of Sun, Earth and Moon is especially good (remember that the Moons orbital plane is tilted about 5 degrees against the Earths orbital plane, so only sometimes, when the Moon passes one of the knots with Earths orbital plane during new moon phase, it happens) create the most stunning periodical astronomical phenomenon in our sky: the total eclipse of our Sun, with the thin corona appearing around the Suns photosphere covering disk of our moon.

The following pages deal with some things around these events:

Total Solar Eclipse 2001 report   [new since 23. Jun 2001]
German flagdt. Sonnenfinsternis 2001 Bericht

background informations about our 2001 total solar eclipse voyage and Zambia  [new since 30. Jun 2001]

old hints for the 2001 Total Solar Eclipse  

Total Solar Eclipse 1999 report   German flag Bericht totale Sonnenfinsternis 1999

Old Hints for the 1999 Eclipse/Alte Hinweise für die 1999er Finsternis

Other Solar Eclipses in our Solar System

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Stefan Urbat
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remarks etc. to: stefan.urbat@apastron.lb.shuttle.de

(URL:  http://www.lb.shuttle.de/apastron/eclipse.htm)