Eclipses from the Standpoint of Celestial Mechanics

  • Magda Stavinschi
Conference paper
Part of the NATO Science Series book series (ASIC, volume 558)


This chapter briefly describes:
  • On August 11, 1999, the last total solar eclipse of this millennium occurred. Its maximum was in Romania. Here were:

  • the maximum duration: 2 m 23 s (at Râmnicu Vâlcea);

  • the maximum height of the Sun: 59º

  • the maximum coverage of the Sun: 103%;

  • the only European Capital situated exactly on the central line of the totality band – Bucharest;

  • the only professional astronomical observatory lying on this line: Bucharest Observatory of the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy;

  • a second one, in Timi$oara, also situated in the totality band, belongs to the same Institute;

  • maybe the best sky for the eclipse observation, especially at its maximum, at Râmnicu Vâlcea. Obviously, there were some clouds but not everywhere.

  • it was the last TSE visible from Europe for the next decades;

  • it was the last TSE of this millenium;

  • the year when it took place (the last one before the “end of the world”) had became an inexhaustible source of the most absurd interpretations. We are speaking about the year 2000, and this one recalls that the Christian Era was established in the 6th century by Dionysius Exiguus, born at Tomis (now Constanfa), in Romania;

  • the totality band practically bisected Europe, from NW to SE (the most populated zones);

  • it crossed nine European countries, namely England, France, Benelux, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Romania and Bulgaria (unfortunately, most of them were under clouds);

  • it took place in midsummer, at suitable hours;

  • it also took place in full tourist season, so a number without precedent moved to the band of totality;

  • it was close to the maximum of solar activity, so it offered the possibility to observe very interesting solar phenomena;

  • it was the most spread eclipse by mass-media, including the transmission live of the images of the lunar shadow on the Earth, obtained by the space mission MIR.


Solar Eclipse Lunar Orbit Total Solar Eclipse Eclipse Observation Fundamental Plane 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magda Stavinschi
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomical Institute of the Romanian AcademyBucharestRomania

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