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Altitude: 50 Meters (more or less)
  Updated Mar. 30, 2005
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UF Ast

Solar Eclipse of 2005 April 8
— A Free Public Event —

Hosted by the AAC and the Florida Museum of Natural History

(This is the last solar eclipse of any type visible from North Central Florida until 2014)

Partial Eclipse of Sun (click for info on a total eclipse cruise)
The Eclipse from Gainesville Florida
(Animation by H.L. Cohen)
On 2005 April 8 a rare "hybrid" (annular-total) solar eclipse occurs over a narrow strip of the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the USA will not see this event. However, a broad region of Earth will see a partial eclipse with people in Florida lying in one of the best USA locations to witness the partial phases.

[To witness totality, see Total Solar Eclipse Tahiti Cruise]

« Event Summary »    « Observe With Our Telescopes »    « Future Eclipses »    « More About the Eclipse »

The Alachua Astronomy Club, Inc. (AAC) and Florida Museum of Natural History are sponsoring a free, public late afternoon event to observe a partial eclipse of the Sun before sunset. The Moon will slowly move over the Sun's disk obscuring about 34% of the solar diameter over a period of nearly 1-3/4 hours as seen from Gainesville, Florida.

Club members will also set up telescopes in front
of the University of Florida's Cultural Plaza Parking Garage (west side facing Powell Exhibition Hall, Florida Museum of Natural History) during later afternoon hours (weather permitting) to allow everyone to view the Sun and the eclipse. (Museum exhibits will not be open during this event due to a special, private museum event.)

  • Come to Powell Hall in late afternoon (see time schedule below)
  • Observe the Sun and sunspots through club telescopes
  • Watch the Sun move through eclipse
  • Talk to astronomy club members who will answer questions and assist adults and children
Come to our event and see the Sun safely!

(Info on Eye Safety)
Date Friday Afternoon, 2005 April 8
Telescopes 5:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. EDT (weather permitting)
Eclipse Times 5:26 p.m. to 7:08 p.m. EDT (1h 42m duration)
(Maximum eclipse at 6:19 p.m. EDT)
UF Cultural Center
Parking Garage
Lawn Area Facing Powell Education & Exhibition Center
(Florida Museum of Natural History)
SW 34 Street & Hull Road, UF Campus, Gainesville Florida
[Map and Directions]
NOTE: This event will be canceled if clouds obscure sky.


The AAC will have telescopes set up on the lawn in front of the
UF Cultural Plaza Parking Garage facing the Powell Hall Exhibition Center
(Florida Museum of Natural History)

Telescopes to View Heavens
  • The Sun will be low in the western sky over the Museum's Butterfly Enclosure
  • Telescopes with safe solar filters available to view the Sun (beginning about 5:15 p.m. EDT)
  • Safe solar filters available for non-telescopic visual use and instruments to view the eclipsed Sun by projection. (See how to view the Sun by simple projection.)
  • Watch the Sun closely and see if you can see the Moon take its "first bite" out of the Sun as the eclipse begins 5:26 p.m. EDT. [Sun 31° above horizon]
  • During maximum eclipse (6:19 p.m. EDT) the Moon will appear to cover about 34% of Sun's diameter (eclipse magnitude*), or about 23% of Sun's area (eclipse obscuration.**). See figure at left. [Sun 19° above horizon]
  • Telescopes available to view the entire eclipse, which ends 7:08 p.m. EDT, about 3/4 of an hour before sunset (7:52 p.m. EDT). [Sun 9° above horizon]

Eclipse from Gainesville (click for larger figure)
Eclipse from Gainesville
(Click to Enlarge)

*Eclipse magnitude for a partial eclipse is the fraction of the Sun's diameter hidden by the Moon at any time. In Gainesville, the magnitude is 34%.
**Eclipse obscuration is the fraction of the surface (area) of the solar disk covered. In Gainesville, the obscuration is 23%. This in not the same as the eclipse magnitude. Click above figure or here to enlarge and see diagram showing solar diameter eclipsed versus solar area eclipsed.

The USA is currently in an eclipse "drought"

T his is the last solar eclipse of any type visible from North Central Florida until 2014. However, observers here in 2014 will see only the very beginnings of a partial eclipse of a setting Sun. The continental USA, except upper Maine in 2008 (see note below), will see none until 2012. And the 2012 solar eclipse (partial) will not be visible from Florida, except the extreme western panhandle, which might see the very end. However, again the Sun will be very low, only about one degree or less above the horizon as the eclipse ends near Pensacola.

The next solar eclipse than can be realistically seen from Florida does not occur until 2017! Florida will see about a 90% partial eclipse. However, this eclipse will appear total throughout the central USA from Oregon to South Carolina — the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental USA since 1979!

Note: The end stages of the 2008 August solar eclipse will be visible as a partial eclipse (magnitude about 40%) from upper Maine but the Sun will be only about one degree above the horizon. So, the 2008 eclipse will also difficult or impossible to see from the USA. (The eclipse is total over north Canada, upper Greenland, Siberia, Mongolia, China!)

But Why Wait?

To see a total solar eclipse is one of life's most memorable,
remarkable and moving experiences.

See a Total Eclipse! Only three TOTAL solar eclipses occur in the next 12 years that are easy to moderately accessible: (1) 2006 March 29 (north Africa, eastern Mediterranean, Turkey & Russia with best conditions in Africa), (2) 2009 July 22 (India, Nepal, SE China, Sea of Japan, western and central Pacific), and (3) 2012 November 13 (extreme northern Australia & south Pacific).

Only the first of these three total solar eclipse (2006) is relatively close and most easily accessible. The 2006 eclipse also also has a long duration for a total eclipse of the Sun (near four minutes).

AAC member and astronomer, Dr. Howard L. Cohen, will escort a tour for the 2006 eclipse. Contact Continental Capers Travel & Cruises for more info about this eclipse tour (to Egypt including a Nile cruise).

For Those Who Still Want More Details

For the Eclipse in Depth and Other Eclipse Information and Resources:
For an Eclipse Cruise to See Totality and a Summary of the Eclipse:

Eclipse Cruise    Total Solar Eclipse Tahiti Cruise (from Continental Capers Travel & Cruises)
(Above links open in separate window)
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