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The Total Eclipse of the sun in Egypt

In March of 2006 Egypt witnessed a total eclipse of the sun along its northwest coast.  Solar eclipses are a very important phenomena in astronomy and geophysics. They  are also a very rare phenomena, and often happen in the same place every 200 years. The last recorded eclipse in Egypt prior to 2006 was in 1798.


A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon gets between the Earth and the Sun. In a total eclipse, the Moon blocks all of the light, creating an eerie deep twilight. Suddenly, in the middle of the day, you can see the stars. When a total eclipse occurs, the Moon's shadow covers only a small portion of the Earth.


eclipse of the sun


Total Eclipse Of The Sun

Many people never get to enjoy the free cosmic thrill of a total solar eclipse, because they believe the myth that looking at an eclipse or even being outdoors, will make you go blind. In fact, if you follow basic guidelines there is no visual damage from viewing a solar eclipse through glasses or by a reflected method. Although the phenomena had been well studied, eclipses still attract cientists and astronomers. A total eclipse of the Sun is about as astonishing a treat as nature provides.


eclipse progress


Eclipse Path Of The Sun


The eclipse makes the daytime sky dark enough for the stars and planets to be seen. During the 29th of March, 2006 event in Egypt, many planets such as Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Jupiter were visible in the darkened sky from the southeastern part of the Mediterranean. Also, the bright stars of the constellations Gemini, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Orion, and Auriga were visible, too! Away from the path of totality, the sky did not get significantly darker and the surrounding stars and planets were still invisible.



On the 29th of March 2006, the total eclipse of the sun was seen from the north coast of Egypt. It started at partial eclipse at 09:36:08, and became a total eclipse at 12:11, finishing fully by 2:46 PM. The total eclipse itself lasted for 4 minutes and 7 seconds. The solar eclipse position at it is peak was 67 degrees located at the longitude of 16.7 East and latitude of 23.3 North. and the coverage area was 183 square km. Moon shade covered 105.2% of the sun's surface.


eclipse picture


General Phases Of The Solar Eclipse

The general eclipse begins when the Moon's penumbra cone starts to sweep across the Earth's disc. The total or annular eclipse begins when the Moon's umbra starts to sweep across the Earth's disc. The centrality begins when the axis of the Moon's shadow cone starts to sweep across the Earth's disc.


eclipse diagram


How The Solar Eclipse Happens


The eclipse's maximum occurs when the terrestrial surface within the umbra reaches its largest area. The centrality ends when the axis of the Moon's shadow finishes its sweep across the Earth's disc. The total or annular eclipse ends when the Moon's shadow finishes its sweep across the Earth's disc. The general eclipse ends when the Moon's penumbra finishes its sweep across the Earth's disc. 

This table shows the phases of the eclipse in Egypt in 2006


Event / phasesHourMinutesLongitudeLatitude
Start of the Eclipse936.822 - 06.114 - 27.7
The beginning of the Southern shade1035.037 - 07.06 - 53.4
Beginning of Eclipse centre1035.437 - 15.56 - 18.3
The beginning of the Northern shade1035.837 - 24.25 - 42.9
Centre of the Eclipse at Noontime1233.222 + 53.929 - 37.2
End of the Northern shade1346.499 + 00.452 - 08.1
End of Eclipse centre1346.998 - 48.551 - 33.7
End of the Southern shade1347.398 - 36.950 - 59.4
End of Eclipse1445.683 - 03.343 - 26.3


Safe Methods For Observing Solar Eclipses


The safest way to observe the Sun and watch the progress of the partial phase of the eclipse is to not look directly at the Sun at all. Instead, project the Sun's image onto a piece of white paper, using a pinhole camera. Binoculars may also be used to project the Sun's image. However, they need to be supported on a tripod, one lens should be covered, and a sheet of white paper held behind the eyepiece. Focus the binoculars to achieve a sharp image. 


Do not look directly at the Sun through the binoculars! To observe the Sun safely before and during the partial phase of the eclipse, most of its light and its harmful ultraviolet and infrared rays must be filtered out. Safe filters include: Using two layers of fully exposed and developed black-and-white film (the color film will not provide adequate protection). 

Using a special metal-coated piece of plastic, typically aluminized Mylar, certified for viewing the Sun. Double-sided coatings greatly reduce the possibility of filter defects. Rectangular welder's glass, shade No. 14. Less dense shades (lower numbers) are not suitable for direct solar observation. Welder's glass will also produce a green-colored image.

Many filters that are sometimes recommended for observing the Sun are not safe for direct-eye viewing, including using a piece of glass blackened by soot from a candle, sunglasses, photographic neutral-density filters, and solar filters that operate at the eyepiece of telescopes or binoculars. Eyepiece filters are especially dangerous. They are placed at the point where the Sun's light is most concentrated and magnified. They can crack or even explode, so do not use them. 

A Few More Rules

1. It's OK to look at the totally-eclipsed Sun with the naked eye - but only when the Sun is totally covered by the Moon, so you have to pick the right moment.

2. Never look at the partially-eclipsed Sun with the naked eye. Even a slim crescent has enough energy to blind you potentially long-term

3. It's safe to look at the fully-exposed or partially-exposed Sun with approved filters, such as professional Solar Viewing Mylar filters, but never look directly at the Sun with smoked glass, exposed photographic films, or Mylar food packaging.

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