Total solar eclipse
Székesfehérvár on August 11th, 1999

You can click on ALL the images to get a bigger image!

All the pictures here are © Copyright by Marko Grönroos, 1999. All rights reserved.

These pics were taken with a videocamera; film camera pictures will appear on this page when I get them developed (hopefully during August, 1999).

A very simple, printable poster: html, gzipped PostScript (.ps.gz) [130kB]

Wednesday, August 11th, about 11:30-13:30 EET

The observation location is in village Siófok by lake Balaton, some 50km south-west from Székesfehérvár.

Ok, here is the sun's normal state, a little before the partial eclipse started. Umh... Some sunspots can be seen; they show a bit differently in these two pictures.

This picture and all the other pictures except those of the total phase were taken through an aluminium filter (equivalent to about 14 DIN welder's glass). The images are taken with x36 magnification with a Sony Hi8 (analog) videocamera.

Some partial eclipse phases before the totality:

During the partial phase there were still some clouds in front of the sun, so about third of the people tried to move to a better location. I went with them. But, after half a mile or so, there had been an accident on the road, and we couldn't get through. So, we jumped off the bus and positioned ourselves by the road. We had apparently gone far enough to evade the few clouds on the sky.

And now, the final phases before the totality:

You can notice at the last picture that the light is severed into two or three parts. This might have been caused by mountains in moon's edge.

These will also be available as an animated gif soon! (Damn, I deleted the file by accident).

The air went very cool before the eclipse. It felt like a very big change, because in the evening the temperature falls much much slower.

I couldn't observe if it was true that birds go silent during the eclipse, because there was so much noise around (people shouting, cameras buzzing, emergency vehicles and trains passing by, etc.).


Pictures from the totality phase. These were taken without the filter, so the brightness is very realistic. It looked very much like this with bare eyes (or actually a binocular).

...except that these or any other pictures tell absolutely NOTHING about what it really looked like... It was totally... UNREAL. Uhh, that's a very crude understatement.

You can see in the dimmest pictures some solar protuberances. There is an especially high protuberance at about 3:10 o'clock; it might be sideways and thus looks like a small dot.

The solar corona was very bright. Unfortunately I didn't use shorter exposure, where the protuberances would have been visible more clearly.

Venus was brightly visible during the totality phase, as well as some 15 minutes before and after it. Mercury was probably visible too, but I couldn't find it from anywhere during the very busy 2 minutes the totality phase lasted.

Then the most beautiful part of the eclipse, the end flash:

You can notice some ripples in the lens glares; I think they might have been caused by mountains in the moon's edge...

The end flash is also available as an animated gif! (10 MB big!!!). The gif framerate is here 1/4s, and if you get it downloaded, your browser should show it in real time. (The small animated gif is too quick). So, the flash is really quick...

After totality

And then some later phases. Observe that the first image here is taken about a second after the last picture above; the visible portion of the sun that causes the huge glare above is really very VERY SMALL.

But, well, that's what the regular partial eclipses look like. Thinking about them, after seeing the total eclipse, feels like they aren't really solar eclipses at all...

I made holes in a piece of paper and projected the sunlight through it.
Cool pinhole camera, isn't it? It was easy to make these pictures with any hole, for example with hand.

Pääsivu Takaisin Last modified: Fri Aug 27 14:53:55 EDT 1999