Paul and Lorraine's Turkey Eclipse Adventure

On Wednesday, 29 March 2006 the moonís shadow swept a narrow band across the globe on a path starting in Brazil and then over the Atlantic Ocean and African Gold Coast, through the Sahara and Mediterranean Sea to Turkey, before continuing up over the Black Sea, The Russian Federation and Kazakhstan before ending in Mongolia.  By the time it reached Southern Turkey, at about 1.54pm, local time, the total eclipse lasted for 3 minutes and 32 seconds at Belek where we were based. Paul was invited to be one of the guest Astronomers for Omega Holidays (the organisers of the Northern Lights Flights) special eclipse 2 day break. It was based in several localities deep inside the main eclipse track as it reached the coast of Turkey just east of Antalya. Paul and Nigel Bradbury were the guest Astronomers based at the Maritim Pine Beach Resort whilst the BBC's Sky at Night team headed by Chris Lintott and Pete Lawrence were at Arsidia with John Barusch and finally Jodrell Banks Prof Ian Morrison and Dr Tim O'Brien were at the Xanthe Hotel.

The following is our personal experience of the event and Lorraine and I would like to thank Omega for involving us in such a wonderful occasion. Click on the images to see the larger format.
Naturally all images are copyrighted either Paul Money, Lorraine Money or Jayne Eames unless otherwise credited.

The following three charts are courtesy of Fred Espenak of NASA Goddard Spaceflight Centre and show the track at 3 scales.

Path across the Earth

timings across the world

Ground track over Southern Turkey

The Maritim Pine Beach Resort Hotel, Belek Conference Centre and the evening presentation by Nigel Bradbury and Paul Money

Maritim Pine Beach Resort HotelThe Maritim Pine Beach Resort Hotel - a superb venue

Pamfilya female staff and PaulThe Pamfilya (Turkish equivalent of Omega Holidays) Ladies wanted a picture of me - Lorraine sits in the background bemused! The three ladies are (L-R): Ceren Sobutay, Merih Baltac Asst. General Manager
Pamfilya and Aysel Makinson

Conference roomThe huge conference room which had been reduced in size with partitions!

Biggest screen I have ever used!The biggest screen I have ever had the privilege to use! L-R Rob England of Omega, Rod Tippett, Nigel Bradbury and me

The Audience that evening
The 650+ members of the audience getting ready to hear Nigel and Pauls talk - the biggest audience I have ever talked to!

General views before, during and after the eclipse in the grounds of the resort.

Nigel gives his commentaryNigel gave a running commentary during the eclipse from the beach watch tower. He's the yellow shirt at the centre of the top of the tower.

Our little site setupLorraine and I set-up with our friends the Bassetlaw AS and this is Pauls equipment. At left the Canon DSLR with a 500mm lens and solar filter, centre is the webcam and a 135mm lens and filter which is coupled to the laptop giving a live view at right.

The main groupLorraine (sat down) with our close friend Jayne behind her, members of Basstelaw AS to their left and two Turkish Hotel  Staff on the right - all enjoying the eclipse from the webcam/ laptop. No alteration to the brightness has been made as this was nearly at Totality and the area was getting noticeably darker and colder.

Canon DSLR with 500mm lens and solar filterPaul taking images of the Eclipse with the Canon 300D DSLR  fitted with a 500mm F8 lens and a Mylar Solar Filter. All the Solar Eclipse pictures shown on this page were taken with this set-up.

Laptop showing the eclipse liveThe laptop and webcam was a great way to show more people without optical aid what was happening. My only regret was that the solar filter was too tight on the webcam lens and I couldn't get it off quick enough and it moved the webcam off the sun completely so I couldn't use it to video the promineces :-(

tree-leaf projection of the crescent SunLorraine suddenly shouted for us to see the tree we were close to was projecting multiple images of the eclipse sun through the gaps in the leaves and Jayne got a good image - see below.

Our good friend Jayne sent us these images during the final lead up to Totality and they are reproduced with her permission.

Crescent sun taken by JayneJayne's image of the multiple Crescent Suns - note the particularly good image shown enlarged.

Dawn using Binoculars with solar filters attachedJaynes friend Dawn observing the Sun safely with Binoculars using Mylar solar filters. Note how dark it's getting as this view was just before Totality  

Getting darker nowJayne caught well how dark it was getting in the lead up to Totality.

Rod's setupRod Tippett's set-up just before Totality began. This image has been lightened to show the telescope which had an H- Alpha filter showing the various promineces around the solar limb. The image was originally as dark as the one of Dawn and the Binoculars   

After Totality...

and then a brief spell of clouds
Just 20 minutes after totality and a patch of clouds drifted over the partially eclipsed sun - glad it wasn't 20 minutes earlier!!!

Turkish lady with NigelNigel with a Turkish lady are happy the eclipse went well for everybody.   

A very happy Paul and LorraineA very happy Paul and Lorraine after seeing their first Total Solar Eclipse!  


The Total Eclipse images
The following were the images taken with the Canon 300D DSLR and the 500mm F8 lens except for the 3rd contact diamond ring which was taken from Jaynes video camera and image processed by Paul. All times are local Turkish time

The Sun just seconds before 1st contactThe Sun just moments before the onset of 1st contact 12:38 Note the small sunspot at left of the disk

image taken at 10h24mNearly half covered - taken at 13h24m

1 minute to goAlmost gone with just 1 minute to go!

almost goneSeconds before totality - enlargement showing the limb of the Moon against the crescent of the Sun.   

Totality beginsSmall Diamond Ring as Totality starts and the Corona begins to show.

The CoronaThe Inner Corona taken with a short exposure, note the activity is mainly East/West with the North and South areas of the Sun fairly quiet - just what you'd expect during Solar Minimum.

ProminencesAlthough some images I took were blurred (due I guess to excitement) I forgot to take very short exposures to capture the prominences but this enlargement of one of my slightly blurred  images does show some near the Northern hemisphere of the Sun.

Slightly more of the Corona - taken at 13:56

The Outer CoronaA longer exposure brings out the Outer Corona with several streamers and in the solar polar regions the magnetic field can be seen. Image taken at 13:57 just before Totality ends.

longer exposure showing more coronal streamersMuch longer exposure bringing out the streamers and outer corona seconds before 3rd contact. Note I have tried to correctly orientate the majority of the images to be consistent hence the dark bands either side of the image.    

Diamond Ring by JayneJayne captured the 3rd Contact Diamond Ring with this amazing shot from her Video camera as I managed to produce a terrible shaky image (not shown naturally!!)

Jaynes diamond sequenceThis sequence has been taken from Jaynes video and processed by Paul to give an amazing set of 4 images. Upper left shows the inner corona. Next shows part of the Chromosphere and several prominences then the initial diamond ring - looking double as several people reported at the time then fianlly tha main diamond ring. Well done Jayne!

it's over and back to the filtered Sun... and it's over :-(   This image taken at 14:03

Almost half uncoveredHaze and high cloud affected the exposures of some of the images coming out of the eclipse so the latter images are slightly brighter than the start. This image at 14:26.

Just after 4th contact and the end
And it's all over for this Total Solar Eclipse with the Sun back to its normal appearance - this view at 15:14

Total Eclipes sequence
This sequence consists of 11 images from start at top left to end at bottom right with Totality at centre. It is not technically accurate as there should be a larger gap between the images but I like the effect!      

An unforgettable experience for Lorraine and myself capped off with this departing image of the Taurus Mountains just after Sunset on March 29th


Mountains and twilight



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