The Annular Solar Eclipse Of 3rd October, 2005

Liz and I have just returned from a spectacular solar eclipse in southern Spain.  We were located just to the east of Benidorm, on the coast and looking out over the sea.  Here is the story.

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On Oct 2nd we drove the 450Km to a location under the path of totality and stayed in a hotel I was up early and on the hotel balcony to photograph first the town lights, then the dawn We had checked out the observing location the night before, on a promontory looking east over the sea And during dinner we chatted to some of the many people who had come here.  These two are from Italy
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On the morning of the eclipse we set up on a quiet vantage point and prepared the equipment Alongside us was Ralf Schaefer, from Germany, who had flown in for 48 hours to photograph the event The rest of our small group set up and prepared for the great event to begin Around the corner a group from Poland had set up.  They had driven 3,500Km to be here!
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I was doing this "on the cheap", using my Canon EOS 10D camera on a small tripod I was using a 300mm Tamron telephoto lens and two polarising filters, turned to filter out the sunlight As the lunar disc slowly moved across the sun, the annularity started to appear And at full eclipse we were treated to a spectacular ring and some beautiful photos
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As this was not a total eclipse it never got dark, but the temperature fell 6 degrees C And the landscape was bathed in an eerie half-light, with colours fading and quite a chill in the air And then the moon moved on, finally leaving the sun's face and returning Spain to it's normal warmth And finally here is an excellent montage taken by Ralf Schaefer and reproduced with his kind permission
The next total solar eclipse is in 2006, and it is visible from Turkey and Libya.  Liz and I think we will be in Turkey, but better start booking rooms now.  We hear they are already filling up!    
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