Total Eclipse of the Sun

Total Eclipse

Total Eclipse of the Sun - February 26, 1998

This photograph shows the diamond ring effect moments before totality during the total eclipse of the sun on February 26, 1998. The last spot of the sun's surface that has not yet been covered by the moon shines brightly, creating an effect that looks like a diamond ring. A solar prominence is visible on the photograph just to the right of the "diamond", but was not picked up very well by the scanner used to scan this photo. The photo was taken from a beach near the Northwest corner of the island of Curacao during totality. Totality lasted for 3 minutes and 30 seconds at our observing location, but it was the shortest three and a half minutes of my life! During totality, the temperature dropped from 97 degrees F to 81 degrees F, a decrease of 16 degrees.

This photograph was published in the 2006 Vatican Observatory Calendar.

The photograph was taken with a Takahashi FS-78 refractor mounted on a Takahashi EM-10 mount. Kodak Royal Gold 100 film was used. I used the Olympus OM-1 camera for this work. Shutter speed was 1/500 second.

Solar Eclipse
February 26, 1998 at 1813 U.T.
Photo by Sid Leach

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