A total eclipse of the Sun occurred on Thursday 29 May, 1919 UT (16 May, 1919 Old Style), lasting from 10:33–15:43 UT. A dramatic total eclipse plunged the Sun into darkness for 6 minutes and 51 seconds at maximum, creating an amazing spectacle for observers in a very broad path, 244 km wide at maximum. It was seen from southern Peru/northern Chile, Bolivia, and Brazil; southern Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia; and Gabon, Congo, D.R. Congo, Tanzania, the border with Zambia, and Mozambique. The partial eclipse was visible in most of South America and Africa.

The timings of the phases of the overall eclipse worldwide are as follows. In any particular place it would have been seen for a significantly shorter duration as the shadow moved across the Earth:

Partial eclipse began: 10:33:21 UT
Total eclipse began: 11:28:26 UT
Maximum eclipse: 13:08:34 UT
Total eclipse ended: 14:48:42 UT
Partial eclipse ended: 15:43:49 UT

During this eclipse the Sun was 0.526° in apparent diameter, 1.3% smaller than average. The Moon was just a day past perigee, making it extremely large. At the start and end of the eclipse the Moon was 0.554°, and at maximum eclipse 0.564°, which is 6.2% larger than average; hence it covered the Sun, making this a total eclipse. The statistics page has information on the ranges of the sizes of the Sun and Moon.

This eclipse was used in a historic test of Einstein's General Relativity by Arthur Eddington and his team. In their observations of the eclipse from Principe and Brazil, they confirmed the bending of starlight by gravity as predicted by Einstein in his general theory of relativity. The results were not completely clear-cut, and were not immediately accepted; follow-up expeditions, such as to the 1922 eclipse, helped to confirm that Eddington's observations were in fact correct. See Wikipedia.

Interactive Map

This map shows the visibility of the eclipse. The shaded area saw the total solar eclipse; however, near the edges of this area, the eclipse was very short. The bold line shows the centre of the path, where the eclipse lasted longest.

Use the zoom controls to zoom in and out; hover your mouse over any point on the centreline to see the time and duration of the eclipse at that point. You can pan and zoom the map to see detail for any part of the eclipse path.

Overview Map

This map sourced from NASA's Eclipse Web Site shows the visibility of the total 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 2 eclipses:

This was the 32nd eclipse in solar Saros series 136.The surrounding eclipses in this Saros series are:

Eclipse Parameters

UT Date/time (max) 13:08:34 on 29 May UT TDT Date/time (max) 13:08:55 on 29 May TDT
Saros Series 136 Number in Series 31
Penumbral Magnitiude Central Magnitiude 1.0719
Gamma -0.2955 Path Width (km) 244
Delta T 0m21s Error ± 0m00s (95%)
Penumbral Duration Partial Duration
Total Duration 6m51s
Partial Rating Total Rating
Sun Distance 151650268 km (94.2%) Moon Distance 359109 km (5.4%)
Sun Diameter 0.526° Moon Diameter 0.554° - 0.564°
Perigee 17:14 on 28 May UT Apogee 06:26 on 10 Jun UT
Contact p1 10:33:21 on 29 May UT Contact p2 12:31:17 on 29 May UT
Contact u1 11:28:26 on 29 May UT Contact u2 11:31:28 on 29 May UT
Max eclipse 13:08:34 on 29 May UT
Contact u3 14:45:42 on 29 May UT Contact u4 14:48:42 on 29 May UT
Contact p3 13:45:53 on 29 May UT Contact p4 15:43:49 on 29 May 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.