Solar Eclipse 12-04-2002 in South Africa

The observation place

This solar eclipse was observed during a five days trip in South Africa, around the Kruger Park area. The Kruger Park is a huge reserve for protection of wild animals, stretching on about 20 000 Kmē. This reserve is located on the north eastern part of the country, along the Mozambique boarder.

South Afrika and Kruger Park


On the morning of the 4th december, we were installed in the northern part of the Kruger Park, inside the path of totality, not very far from Punda Maria (red dot on the map below).

 The path of totality above Kruger Park


As you may notice on the picture below, weather was unfortunately not fine at that moment. On the morning of the eclipse, a dark cloudy layer was covering most part of the Kruger Park. This layer completely masked the total eclipse. Nevertheless, a few holes in clouds allowed us to watch some partial phases.

Le lieu d'observation



After first contact

First contact occured at 7H12 (local time). Here is a picture captured a few minutes after the first contact with a Casio QV4000 digital camera. The camera is placed behind a SP 40 mm eyepiece fixed on an ETX90-EC telescope equipped with a glass aperture filter. You may notice some sunspots.

After first contact



Shadow passing along

The eclipse was total at 8H20 (local time) and the totality time was 1 minute and 20 seconds. This movie was made of pictures captured every 15 seconds by an EPSON 3000 digital camera in automatic mode. It shows the shadow passing above the observation place. The movie is replayed at 5 images/sec, creating an acceleration factor by 75 times. You may notice observers desperately scanning the sky !

Shadow passing along

Movie of the shadow (640x480 .AVI format with DIVX compression 2112K)



After the third contact

Third contact occured at 8H21 (local time). Here is a picture captured a few minutes after the third contact with a Casio QV4000 digital camera placed behind a SP40mm eyepiece fixed on an ETX90-EC telescope. Clouds are acting as a solar filter ! The eclipse was over at 9H38

After the third contact



For consolation

Luckily, the Kruger Park is also a wonderful place where you can watch beautiful wild animals. Here is what I captured. At least, those ones were not eclipsed !

En guise de consolation

Other pictures were captured by Philippe Lopez who was a member of our group.

Satellite movie of the eclipse

Your suggestions are welcomed