The Solar Eclipse 2006
observed in Serik, Turkey

(minimum resolution: 800 x 600 - best resolution: 1024 x 768)

Back in 1999 right after my first total solar eclipse experience I decided to travel to Turkey in 2006 and watch the solar eclipse there. The two of us, my partner Hanni and I, booked the trip in late October when we had plenty of choice which hotel to take. I planned to travel with my Skywatcher 80/600mm on Kodak E200 film, which turned out to be the last available film sufficiently sensitive in H-a light. In addition, I planned to take a movie from the eclipse with my Sony videocamera and a teleconversion lens which I used for the lunar eclipse in 2003 and the Venus transit in 2004.

The trip was eventful, it took us plenty of time waiting at the lost-and-found counter at Antalya airport before the lady in charge managed to find my tripod for my Vixen GP-DX that got forgotten somewhere at the bulky luggage counter. We were staying in Antalya in a lovely hotel in the old city. The car we reserved turned out to be some old Hyundai which was close to a wreck that fortunately made it to the end of the week. Although we ordered something else, it was useless to complain because practically all cars all over the Antalya area were booked - probably because of the outstanding event.

We were extremely lucky with the weather. Only one short thundershower in the night from Monday to Tuesay interrupted the clear weather lasting from Saturday until ~4 hours after the eclipse! Not earlier than then cirrus clouds announced the cloudy weather that was to come in the following days. We were located near Serik, Turkey at the seaside where we picked a place directly at the shore we chose one day before.

At the very last evening I discovered that Canon "commendably" changed the cable release connection from the format I was used from my EOS 600 and EOS 5 bodies to a new one, so my new EOS 30V body turned out to be useless for the 3rd contact! As there was no such cable release avaliable in all over Antalya I had to decide to use the timer in combination with an exposure series of +/- 2 F-stops. This would give me a couple of exposure series which would make nice composites.

We were right on time, but still the mishaps didn't end. I must have lost the one screw that locked the focusser, so I had to improvise and use a slightly smaller screw with some cloth wrapped around (thanks Hanni for the idea!), which actually worked much better than expected. In the first half of the partial phase of the eclipse the pole alignment was suboptimal so I decided to stop the interval video, realigned and then restarted the clip. The sun turned out to be steady then until totality.

And then the magic moment came. The black hole in the sky high above the mediterranean sea was framed by a beautiful minimum corona and Venus and Mercury appeared in the twilight sky. The 3 and a half minutes of totality allowed us to get acquainted to totality so well that we nearly missed the third contact. So we had "plenty" of time to watch the Taurus mountains and the sea change their colours. This was something new for me, too, as I did hardly have the opportunity to gaze at anything else than the sun in 1999...

After the sun had come back, we were so caught up in the aftermath of the experience that we did not talk much when we packed the equipment together and went on heading towards Antalya. Still quiet we enjoyed our turkish coffe in a small cafe at Perge. When we watched the awesome ruins of Perge, the first clouds showed up and we realized the good luck we had with our eclipse journey.

These are the two best pictures I made and the video:

Outer Corona Composite

Size: 57 KB
Lens: 600 mm / 7.5
Film: Kodak E200
Filter: none
Exposure times: 1/250 - 1/60 - 1/8 - 2/3 sec
Location: 30°58' E, 36°51' N

False-Colour Composite

Size: 95 KB
Lens: 600 mm / 7.5
Film: Kodak E200
Filter: none
Exposure times: 1/250 - 1/60 - 1/8 sec
Location: 30°58' E, 36°51' N

Eclipse Video

Size: 5.0 MB
Lens: 33 mm / 1.7 + 2.0x Teleconversion lens
Format: Mini-DV
Filter: none

Location: 30°58' E, 36°51' N

Please keep in mind that astrophotography is a hobby that demands a lot of money and even more time and effort. So I have to state that the copyrights for all of these pictures are reserved. In case you'd like to use our pictures for more that just watching them, please send me an e-mail-message and ask for permission.
Thank you.

Sites related to the 2006 eclipse:
NASA 2006 eclipse page
Pictures by Herwig Sulzbacher, Christoph Kalteis, Erich Meyer and Gerald Maschek

If you should have noticed that some of these links have changed or if you would like to have added recommendable sites to this non-representative list, please send me an e-mail message.

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