||[ Monday, 03 Oct 05 | 14:04 ]
This morning I was treated to a solar annular eclipse. 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. About one-third of solar eclipses are annular and about one-fourth are total. The rest are partial.
The rim of fire that appears around the moon glows brighter than the corona that is seen during a total eclipse. It was a perfect ring in Madrid, but here in Barcelona about 85% of the sun was obscured
The eclipse's three-and-a-half-hour path first traversed Portugal and Spain.The Iberian peninsula hasn't witnessed an annular eclipse since April 1, 1764, and won't see another one until 2028. The last total eclipse seen in Iberia was in 1912. The eclipse's narrow corridor also traveled across mostly deserted parts of Africa.
In Spain, where the event stirred keen anticipation, opticians selling 1 million special protective glasses said Friday they had virtually sold out. I tried to take a picture of the eclipse with my digital camera, but it didn’t work owing to not having the proper ND filter. I watched the progress of the eclipse on TV as most stations with a live feed had special coverag.
Here's a good animation and explanation (en castellano) of today’s eclipse.