|This solar eclipse was visible in the african states Angola, Sambia, Simbabwe and Mocambique and in Madagascar. Because of meteorological and political reasons our interest focuses from the very beginning on Sambia whose capital Lusaka was in the totality zone and where the totality lasted for 3 Minutes 14 Seconds. Unfortunately we encountered high prices for journeys through this country. Therefore the idea was born to fly to Lusaka airport, observe the eclipse near the airport and then take the same plane back to europe (austria). Finally the astronomy interested pilot at Austrian Airlines, Walter Max Schwendenwein organized - together with Astronomy-Travel - this short trip to Lusaka.|
|The night flight began at 18.45 on June 20th 2001 with take off of the Airbus A340-300 with 264 passengers and 88.5 t fuel from the airport Vienna. 8.5 hours later we arrived at Lusaka airport, where it was quite cool with a temperature around 8 °C.|
About half an hour before totality it was obvious that something strange
was going on: the clear sky turns darker, the wind faded and temperature
|About five minutes before totality some birds flew around loudly protesting
against closing in darkness. The nearer totality came, the more and more
ecstatic the atmosphere became.
At left picture of the second contact taken with digital camera: f=388mm, f:4.5, 1/800 Second
Note the red chromosphere around the last bit of sun and some red prominences.
|The picture at right was also taken with an Olympus digital camera
C2100: f=388 mm, f:4.5, 1/8 Second
As you see the solar corona shows the typical round shape which is characteristic for a high solar activity. At upper right, about one Sun (Moon) diameter distant from the eclipsed sun, one can see the star 1 Gemini. (I confirmed with other pictures this tiny dot beeing really a star.)
The corona is the "atmosphere" of the sun, a very hot gas shell with a very low density (the density of the best vacuum we can achieve on earth is much higher).
|The picture at right shows at lower left the planet Jupiter:
f=140 mm, f:4.5, 1/5 second
(the focal length f=140 mm refers to the film format 24 * 36 mm, der real range of focal length of the digital camera is 7 - 70 mm).
|After 3 minutes 27 seconds totality ended (this duration is longer
than that in Lusaka, because the airport is north of the capital and so
nearer to the centerline of the eclipse).
The picture at left shows 3rd contact: f=388 mm, f:4.5, 1/200 second
|The pictures at right show the bailey beads at 3rd contact taken with a tele photo lens 500 mm f:8 + 2-times converter, 1/1000 second on Kodak film 100 ASA.|
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