A total eclipse of the Sun occurred on Wednesday 29 March, 2006 UT, lasting from 07:36–12:45 UT. A dramatic total eclipse plunged the Sun into darkness for 4 minutes and 7 seconds at maximum, creating an amazing spectacle for observers in a broad path up to 184 km wide. It was seen from eastern Brazil, western Africa, across the eastern Med, and north-east through Asia. The partial eclipse was visible throughout Europe, though not spectacularly in Britain.

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: 07:36:53 UT
Total eclipse began: 08:34:29 UT
Maximum eclipse: 10:11:22 UT
Total eclipse ended: 11:48:01 UT
Partial eclipse ended: 12:45:45 UT

During this eclipse the Sun was 0.534° in apparent diameter, around average. The Moon was just a day past perigee, making it very large. At the start and end of the eclipse the Moon was 0.552°, and at maximum eclipse 0.561°, which is 5.7% 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.

A major eclipse, and the last reasonably easy chance for Europeans to see a total eclipse of the Sun for many years, this will be a very significant event.

The total eclipse begins in the extreme east of Brazil, then crosses the Atlantic, passing through Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Libya, and north-western Egypt on its way to the Med. It then crosses Turkey, Georgia, southern Russia, Kazakhstan, and Russia again, before finishing right on the Mongolian border.

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 29th eclipse in solar Saros series 139.The surrounding eclipses in this Saros series are:

Eclipse Parameters

UT Date/time (max) 10:11:18 on 29 Mar UT TDT Date/time (max) 10:12:23 on 29 Mar TDT
Saros Series 139 Number in Series 28
Penumbral Magnitiude Central Magnitiude 1.0515
Gamma 0.3843 Path Width (km) 184
Delta T 1m05s Error ± 0m00s (95%)
Penumbral Duration Partial Duration
Total Duration 4m07s
Partial Rating Total Rating
Sun Distance 149366296 km (47.0%) Moon Distance 360318 km (7.8%)
Sun Diameter 0.534° Moon Diameter 0.552° - 0.561°
Perigee 07:13 on 28 Mar UT Apogee 13:17 on 9 Apr UT
Contact p1 07:36:53 on 29 Mar UT Contact p2
Contact u1 08:34:29 on 29 Mar UT Contact u2 08:36:33 on 29 Mar UT
Max eclipse 10:11:22 on 29 Mar UT
Contact u3 11:45:59 on 29 Mar UT Contact u4 11:48:01 on 29 Mar UT
Contact p3 Contact p4 12:45:45 on 29 Mar 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.