Hybrid eclipse doubles the pleasure you receive from viewing an annual eclipse, and last Sunday, hybrid eclipse watchers were in for a real treat. In a nutshell, a hybrid eclipse shifts between a total and annular eclipse. At some points on the surface of Earth it appears as a total eclipse, whereas at other points it appears as annular. Hybrid eclipses are comparatively rare.
A satellite orbiting earth has captured footage of a solar eclipse that plunged parts of Africa into total darkness.
In the UK ‘s Sky News, it was reported that “the rare ‘hybrid’ eclipse, named due to the varying degrees the Sun is obscured around the world, was filmed from the European Space Agency’s Proba-2.” These ultraviolet photos are among the most amazing and fantastic natural photos of the rare hybrid eclipse event.
The footage shows the moon’s silhouette in several positions around the Sun. To compare annular eclipses with the unusual “hybrid” eclipse see the photos. The top photo is the annular eclipse and the bottom image explains how the hybrid eclipse appears in the sky, as compared to the annular eclipse.
The longest duration of a visual of the hybrid eclipse was reported by Sky and Telescope to be 99 seconds, and was seen from a spot in the Atlantic southwest of Liberia. A few ships were in the area, but no reports were made so far to bear witness to the hybrid eclipse. Passengers aboard the yacht SeaDream, positioned at 14.1° N, 31.8° W, had to navigate out of the cloudy areas to get mostly into the clear. “Fortunately, we got away from the really opaque high stuff,” reports Michael Gill, “and we were able to just see a watery-looking Sun with inner corona. No outer corona could be picked up.”
The double pleasure of watching a hybrid eclipse was not lost on Jay Pasachoff , who led a Williams College expedition that watched from near La Lope National Park in central
Gabon. Gabon, officially called the Gabonese Republic, is a sovereign state on the west coast of Central Africa, located on the equator. After a brief rainstorm, the sky cleared completely by the time of totality. Pasachoff reports that his 10-person team, funded by the National Geographic Society, obtained thousands of images and spectra.
One so-called eclipse chaser, Daniel Fischer, comments, “The view, while short, was breathtakingly beautiful, especially the swiftly developing colors in the sky.” Fisher and his group were in Pakwach, Uganda. Other viewers chose to set up their eclipse chase on the western and eastern shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya.
The Los Angeles Times posted a live watch on their online news service. The LA Times let its readers know, “Beginning at 3:45 a.m. PST, the online observatory will stream the solar eclipse live from a remote part of the Kenyan countryside.”
For hybrid eclipse chasers, the opportunities to view the most amazing sights one could ever hope to see, are both direct and via the internet, since our technology allows such a luxury. The hybrid eclipse, beautiful, provocative and somewhat haunting in ultraviolet hues, doubles your pleasure from watching an annualar eclipse. The images that many were able to capture for the public’s edification, will be etched on our minds for an eternity.
By Lisa M Pickering
Sky & Telescope