Solar Eclipses


I do not consider myself as a "real" eclipse chaser but rather an opportunity to travel to and visit the country where a solar eclipse can be seen.

Total Solar Eclipses for which I have travelled are:

1979: Montana, clear, hazy sky, succesful.

1991 Mexico, clouded out.

1998 Curaçao, clear sky, succesful.

1999 France, transparent cloud, succesful.

2002 South Africa, clouded out.

2006 Turkey, clear sky, succesful.

2010 China, clouded out

2012 Australia, between clouds, succesful. CLICK HERE.

2016 Indonesia, succesful.

Annular Eclipses for which I have travelled are:

1994 Morocco, clear sky, hazy, at sunset, succesfull.

2003 Schotland, sunrise, clouded out.

2005 Ibiza, clearing between clouds, cirrus, succesfull.

2016 La Réunion, succesfull.


Solar eclipse pictures.

Morocco 1994

Planning was to observe from a beach near Casablanca. However clouds came in from over sea so the bus with our group travelled as far eastward as possible. This permitted us to see this sunset "ring of fire". During initial partial phases, a solar filter was necessary but later as the sun was lower in the sky the clouds acted as a natural filter and these images where made without filter. Sigma 400 mm f/5.6 APO, automatic exposure with Pentax SLR camera.

Curaçao 1998:

We stayed at Westpunt on Curaçao. Weather was splendid the whole week except on eclipse day morning: we awakened by the sound of rain on the roof! Luckilly clouds dissipated by the beginning of the partial eclipse phase and it stayed clear for the rest of the time.

Fish eye view during mid eclips.

France 1999.

Where ?

My family and I went to see the eclipse in the small village Criquemanville, near Sassetot-le-Mauconduit in Seine-Maritime, France. We stayed a week at a quiet country B&B and enjoyed some sights in the neighbourhood. To observe the eclipse, our first intention was to go somewhere on the cliffs overlooking the sea , but we were warned about heavy trafic on the only road along the coast and about some roads being restricted for circulation. So, we decided to stay near our temporary home and found a field with a good view to the east, south and west.

The weather.

Well, I must say we were very, very lucky. In the early morning, there was complete cloud cover. Later on, some breaks appeared but about an hour before totality we were completely under the clouds with even some raindrops falling. In the north-west, the sky was clearing. About half an hour before second contact, the sun began to shine through small breaks and the weather improved. During totality, the sky was not perfect at all as you can see on the first picture, but the eclipsed sun was bright enough for us to experience the shadow of the moon. We noticed that the wind increased some time before totality, also the temperature dropped considerably or at least it felt that way.

Other eclipse phenomena.

I did not notice any shadow bands before or after totality. Some of my companions saw Venus between the clouds, but I was to busy with my photography to be able to see the planet. However, the view of the prominences through the viewfinder of the camera was breathtaking.

My daughters Annelies and Kathleen conducted some simple experiments on their own, measuring light and temperature.

Local time Temperature Light (Lux)
10:30 19.9 66000
10:40 18.7 8250
10:50 18.7 4150
11:00 18.3 4150
11:10 18.7 8250
11:20 18.6 16500
11:30 19.2 11000
11:40 19.4 11000
11:50 18.8 16500
12:00 18.5 66000
12:10 18.0 11000
12:20 (T) 15.9 2100
12:30 15.9 11000
12:40 18.5 44000
12:50 18.1 66000
13:00 20.0 88000
13:10 20.0 44000


As we did not need an airplane to get there, I brought a Losmandy G11 mount and a Celestron 8 SCT. I photographed on 120 format film (Kodachrome E100S slide film) in the 2000 mm (f/10) prime focus. With a Kiev60, I could only make 12 pictures, using exposure times from 1/1000 s down to 1 second. One or two slides suffered from some vibration, although the mirror was locked up before the shutter was fired to reduce vibration. With a second Kiev60 camera with a 80 mm lens, I made a picture showing how the sky looked like during totality. As you can see, there were still a lot of high cloud wich sort of softened and masked the corona. It is surprising that I still managed to get these pictures.

For the series of photographs below, the original slides were copied onto 35 mm negative film and then scanned onto Kodak photodisk. These scans are but a meager representation of the originals, but nevertheless : enjoy !