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Annular Solar Eclipse: April 29, 2014

Geographic Region: southern Indian Ocean, Australia, Antarctica
[Annular: Antarctica]

The first solar eclipse of 2014 occurs at the Moon's descending node in southern Aries. This particular eclipse is rather unusual because the central axis of the Moon's antumbral shadow misses Earth entirely while the shadow edge grazes the planet. Classified as a non-central annular eclipse, such events are rare. Out of the 3,956 annular eclipses occurring during the 5,000-year period -2000 to +3000, only 68 of them or 1.7% are non-central.

The northern edge of the antumbral shadow first touches down in Antarctica at 05:57:35 UT. The instant of greatest eclipse occurs just six minutes later at 06:03:25 UT. For an observer at the geographic coordinates nearest the shadow axis (131° 15.6' E, 79° 38.7' S), the Sun would appear on the horizon during the 49-second annular phase. Six minutes later (06:09:36 UT), the antumbral shadow lifts off the surface of Earth as the annular eclipse ends. The entire zone of annularity appears as a small D-shaped region in eastern Antarctica.

A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, that includes the southern Indian Ocean, the southern edge of Indonesia and all of Australia.

This is the 21st eclipse of Saros 148. The family began with a series of 20 partial eclipses starting on 1653 Sep 21. The 2014 Apr 29 eclipse is actually the first annular eclipse of the series. It will be followed by another annular on 2032 May 09. The series switches to hybrid on 2050 May 20 followed by the first 40 total eclipses on 2068 May 31. After a final 12 partial eclipses, Saros 148 terminates on 2987 Dec 12.


Eclipse map and predictions courtesy of Fred Espenak - NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center.
For more information on solar and lunar eclipses, see Fred Espenak's Eclipse Home Page:






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