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Solar eclipses
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  • Solar eclipse basics
  • Observing eclipses
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  • Glossary of eclipse terms
  • 2001 solar eclipse [animation]
  • 2002 solar eclipse [animation]
  • Future solar eclipses
  • Future solar eclipses visible from SA
  • Activities and useful resources in SA
  • Other sources of information

  • Countdown to 4 Dec 2002 solar eclipse
    (Days : Hours : Minutes : Seconds)
    A total solar eclipse is probably the most spectacular astronomical event that most people will experience in their lives. There is a great deal of interest in watching eclipses, and thousands of astronomers travel around the world to observe and photograph them. Here in South Africa, we are looking forward to the total solar eclipse on 4 December 2002. Read more about this event and other solar eclipse information on this web site.

    Composite ground-based eclipse and SOHO EIT image
    shows what was going on behind the moon during totality.
    Image source: http://umbra.nascom.nasa.gov/eclipse/

    What's happening in South Africa

    The total solar eclipse traversing South Africa on 4 December 2002 provides a unique opportunity to promote public awareness and understanding of this natural phenomenon, and to give as many South Africans as possible the opportunity to understand the event and share in the excitement. The next time that a total solar eclipse will be visible from South Africa will only be in 2030!

    The Department of Science and Technology has awarded funding to certain projects aimed at creating excitement and promoting communication about this event. The Foundation for Education, Science and Technology (FEST) is managing the implementation of the project across the country.

    View a list of the events being planned and download a free solar eclipse information sheet here.

    Acknowledgements

    The South African Astronomical Observatory
    Selection of eclipse maps/figures/tables/predictions used on this site courtesy of Fred Espenak, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center. For more information on solar and lunar eclipses, see Fred Espenak's Eclipse Home Page: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/eclipse.html
    The Department of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) of the University of Port Elizabeth, Teacher's Kit on Eclipses 2001/2002

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