by Livia Briese, Jochen Kerkmann and Gordon Bridge (EUMETSAT)Jump to images
On Monday, 3 October 2005, an annular eclipse of the Sun was visible within a narrow corridor which traversed the Iberian Peninsula and stretched across the African continent. An annular eclipse differs from a total eclipse in that the Moon appears too small to completely cover the Sun (the Moon was too far away from the Earth). As a result, the sun turned into a ‘ring of fire’, i.e. the Moon was surrounded by an bright ring or annulus formed by the uneclipsed outer perimeter of the Sun's disk.
A partial eclipse was seen within a much broader path of the moon's penumbral shadow, which included Europe, western Asia, the Middle East, India and large parts of Africa.
As seen from the Meeosatt-8 images below, one of the best places to view the event was in the Spanish capital, Madrid, where thousands came out on to the streets (unlike most of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula was cloud-free). In the visible images and animations below, one can nicely follow the shadow of the Moon as it crosses Libya (upper right image), Sudan (lower left) and Kenya (lower right). It is worthwhile noting that the event could also be observed in the Meteosat-8 infrared channels (see animation of IR10.8 channel, 03:00-13:00 UTC, MPG, 6005 KB) in the form of a moving pale area (i.e. cooler ground) mirroring the shadow seen in the visible channels. The area covered by the shadow of the Moon was about 7 to 8 K cooler than the surrounding area.
Finally, the RGB composite images below also show a massive fire over Portugal with a large smoke plume extending westwards over the Eastern Atlantic. Furthermore, a dust storm can be observed over the Algerian desert (see the RGB composite IR12.0-IR10.8, IR10.8-IR8.7, IR10.8, also called the dust RGB).
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