An annular eclipse of the Sun occurred on Wednesday 22 January, 1879 UT (10 Jan, 1879 Old Style), with maximum eclipse at 11:53 UT. A large annular eclipse covered 97% of the Sun, creating a dramatic spectacle for observers in a path up to 110 km wide; it lasted 3 minutes and 3 seconds at the point of maximum eclipse. It was seen across southern South America and southern Africa. The partial eclipse was visible from most of South America, most of Africa, and part of the Middle East.

The annular eclipse lasted for 3 minutes and 3 seconds. Maximum eclipse was at 11:53:13 UT.

During this eclipse the Sun was 0.542° in apparent diameter, 1.6% larger than average. The Moon was 8 days after perigee and 6 days before apogee. At maximum eclipse it was 0.525° in apparent diameter, which is 1.1% smaller than average; this was not large enough to cover the Sun, which is why this was an annular eclipse. The statistics page has information on the ranges of the sizes of the Sun and Moon.

In the final stages of the Battle of Isandlwana in the Anglo-Zulu war, this eclipse was seen as the Zulu forces overwhelmed the British position. A partial eclipse covering around 55% of the Sun would have been seen from Isandlwana, lasting from 11:10–13:52 UT, with the maximum eclipse at around 12:36 UT.

Overview Map

This map sourced from NASA's Eclipse Web Site shows the visibility of the annular solar eclipse. It also shows the broader area in which a partial eclipse was seen. (Click on it for the full-sized version.)

Eclipse Season and Saros Series

This eclipse season contains 3 eclipses:

This was the 44th eclipse in solar Saros series 129.The surrounding eclipses in this Saros series are:

Eclipse Parameters

UT Date/time (max) 11:53:13 on 22 Jan UT TDT Date/time (max) 11:53:08 on 22 Jan TDT
Saros Series 129 Number in Series 43
Penumbral Magnitiude Central Magnitiude 0.97
Gamma -0.1824 Path Width (km) 110
Delta T -1m-5s Error ± 0m00s (95%)
Penumbral Duration Partial Duration
Total Duration 3m03s
Partial Rating Total Rating
Sun Distance 147258703 km (3.4%) Moon Distance 385061 km (57.0%)
Sun Diameter 0.542° Moon Diameter 0.517° - 0.525°
Perigee 17:11 on 14 Jan UT Apogee 05:06 on 29 Jan UT

Note that while all dates and times on this site (except where noted) are in UT, which is within a second of civil time, the dates and times shown in NASA's eclipse listings are in the TDT timescale.

The Sun and Moon distances are shown in km, and as a percentage of their minimum - maximum distances; hence 0% is the closest possible (Earth's perihelion, or the Moon's closest possible perigee) and 100% is the farthest (aphelion, the farthest apogee). The statistics page has information on the ranges of sizes of the Sun and Moon.

Data last updated: 2015-06-21 22:11:46 UTC.