The Solar Eclipse 1999
observed in Edlitz, Southern Burgenland, Austria

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


On August 11th, 1999 Austrian amateur astronomers had the rare opportunity to view a total eclipse of the sun from their home country. The core shadow of the moon went from Cornwall along the Normandie, Saarland and Bavaria to Austria and onward to Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Iran and India where the eclipse was visible at sunset.

On a rainy and overcast morning we, a group of eight people, took the southbound motorway early in the morning heading from Vienna to the Austrian-Hungarian border, where meteorologists expected the highest chances to get a glance at the completely eclipsed sun. We were early enough to avoid the huge traffic jam which was yet to come. Besides, we were lucky enough to pass some minor hold-ups without too much delay.

Two of us were amateur astronomers who had a photographic program prepared. Roland Ferth took his 1000mm/10.0 Maksutov-Cassegrain with him, and I wanted to shoot totality with a 400mm/5.6 telephoto lens and my 2030mm/10.0 SCT.

Finally we found a marvelous site at a hill between Höll and Edlitz with a nice view towards both the western hills and the Hungarian plains and with solid ground for our sturdy tripods. Even as soon as we left the motorway, we found the first clear spots in the sky, but here in Edlitz the weather was really encouraging. However, it was a good feeling to be able to go east at a small border crossing to Hungary where there was only litte traffic to be expected. We didn't go for that, but is was reassuring to have the opportunity in case the clouds came back again.

We were right on time, and we could enjoy the first contact, because all of our equipment was set up and checked at this time. I didn't plan to do any shots of the partial phases, so I had plenty of time to get very nervous during these 80 minutes. I accepted the advice of Chuck Vaughn who wrote in a message at APML in June 1999: "If you take exposures of the partial phases, I'll bet after the fact you wish you hadn't bothered. <g>"

And then ... damned. 10 Minutes before totality thin cloud cover moved towards the thin sickle and reached it 5 minutes before 2nd contact. However, we tried to concentrate and to enjoy the eclipse as well as possible. Fortunately the clouds were so thin, that we could reach nearly all of our goals. We experienced the breathtaking event, we succeded with our astrophotos and videos and in the very middle of totality the sun was completely uncovered and looked like a crispy hole in the sky.

Only those who have seen a phenomenon like this know why people travel around the world to see it. It is a privilege to have watched it in one's own home country first. It won't be the last total eclipse of the sun for me. However, I am sure that this impression won't ever be the same again.

Enjoy my pictures (click for magnification) and drop me a line if you like it.
 


Outer Corona



Size: 24 KB
Lens: 400 mm / 5.6
Film: Kodak PJ400
Filter: none
Exposure time: 1/8 sec
Location: 16°26' E, 47°08' N


Inner Corona



Size: 129 KB
Lens: 2030 mm / 10.0
Film: Kodak PJ400
Filter: none
Exposure time: 1/250 sec
Location: 16°26' E, 47°08' N


3rd contact



Size: 152 KB
Lens: 2030 mm / 10.0
Film: Kodak PJ400
Filter: none
Exposure time: 1/2000 sec
Location: 16°26' E, 47°08' N


Bailey's beads



Size: 144 KB
Lens: 2030 mm / 10.0
Film: Kodak PJ400
Filter: none
Exposure time: 1/2000 sec
Location: 16°26' E, 47°08' N


Roland Ferth: Outer Corona



Size: 46 KB
Lens: 1000 mm / 10.0
Film: Kodak Gold 400
Filter: none
Exposure time: ???
Location: 16°26' E, 47°08' N


Roland Ferth: 3rd Contact



Size: 49 KB
Lens: 1000 mm / 10.0
Film: Kodak Gold 400
Filter: none
Exposure time: ???
Location: 16°26' E, 47°08' 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 an e-mail-message to me or Roland and ask for permission.
Thank you.


Great sites related to the 1999 eclipse:
 
Dale Ireland's eclipse page


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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