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ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE IN 2006
On Friday, 22 September 2006, an annular eclipse of the Sun traverses about half of the earth’s circumference. An annular eclipse of the Sun can happen when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned, and the Moon is farthest away in its orbit around Earth. At this point, its apparent diameter is not large enough to completely obscure the sun. During an annular eclipse, a ring of light is left uncovered around the dark circle produced by the Moon.
While this eclipse has a very wide path and long duration, this also means that the Sun will not be darkened as much as by a shorter-lasting annular eclipse. The path of the Moon's shadow begins in the north east of South America and crosses the South Atlantic with no further landfall. A partial eclipse will be seen from a much larger region including South America, the eastern Caribbean, western Africa, and Antarctica
The path of the annular eclipse begins in Guyana at 09:48 GMT (UT) when the Moon's shadow meets Earth and forms a 320 kilometre wide corridor. Guyana's capital city Georgetown lies just a few kilometres outside the path's northern limit. On the central line to the south, the duration of annularity is 5 minutes 31 seconds..
Rushing east, the antumbra quickly enters Suriname where its capital city Paramaribo lies deep within the antumbral path. Maximum eclipse in Paramaribo occurs at 09:51 UT, the Sun's altitude is 5° and the duration of annularity is 5 minutes 1 seconds. Continuing into French Guiana, the capital city Cayenne stands only 10 kilometres south of the central line. We advise the best "land-based" point for viewing the annular eclipse is on the coast, just on the northern edge of Cayenne. Maximum eclipse occurs here at 09:53 UT ( 06:53am local time) as the Sun stands about 8° above the eastern horizon during an annular phase lasting about 5 minutes 42 seconds.
The southern edge of the antumbra briefly clips the north coast of Brazil (so Brazil can count on seeing two solar eclipses in 2006) before spending the next three and a half hours sweeping across the South Atlantic. The central track runs south of the African continent and ends in the southern Indian Ocean at 13:31:34 UT
The greatest eclipse (period) occurs at 11:40:11 UT. The annular duration then is 7 minutes 9 seconds, the path width is 261 kilometres and the Sun is 66° above the open ocean.
During its 3 hour 40 minute flight across our planet, the Moon's antumbra travels about 13,800 kilometres and covers 0.83% of Earth's surface area.
Partial phases of the eclipse are visible primarily from South America and Africa.
Travel options to the central point of this eclipse are limited, as it is mostly over ocean. There may be some ocean cruises which intercept the eclipse path, although we recommend taking in the total eclipses in 2008 or (ideally) 2009 instead.
More information on this annular eclipse may be found atFred Espenak's website