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The Total Solar eclipse of 1999
The last Total Eclipse of the Century
(Magnitude of 1.029, Saros Series 145: Member 21 of 77 eclipses in series)

A Full Program of Activities

Like usual, a rich program with the public was organized to explain the eclipses
in general and the August 11 one in particular.

Preparing for the Eclipse
Our Trip to Syria to Observe the Totality
Viewing the Eclipse
Reporting on the Eclipse
The Perseid Observation Campaign from Damascus

Preparing for the August 11, 1999 Total Solar Eclipse

Chamseddine Mouatsi (Chams) was the other Sirius member in the delegation. He conceived this flyer on the eclipse under the Sirius scientific supervision which was widely distributed to the Algerian public (Click for larger views).

Our Trip to Syria to Observe the Totality
Sightseeing in our way...

This sighting mission was organized by the Scientific League of Cheraga and financed by the Youth and Sport Ministry. It went to Syria at the invitation of the Chabibat El-Thawra Youth Organization there. Indeed, Northern Syria which is part of the Syrian Kurdistan, will witness the totality for an appreciable amount of time. It involved several laureats from various parts of Algeria and was headed by Dr.J.M. from Sirius.
Before that, the delegation stayed for a week at an Astronomy Youth Camp along with the other Arab delegations near the city of Idleb.

Arrival to Syria from Algiers. Damascus viewed from Djebel Qasioun. Damascus is held widely to be the oldest city in the world with history going back to more than 9000 years ago.

Arrival at the Damascus Intl.Airport which is also a military airport. We see parked some Ilyushin transport planes of the Syrian air force.

The team (Save Abdelhakim, and Chams who is taking the picture) at the famous Hamidiyya souk, bargaining with a young salesman.

Posing in the courtyard of an old caravanserail on our way to the Hasakeh prefectorat.

The Umayyad Mosque in center city

Inside the Umayyad Mosque.

The Djebel Qasioun resort area. A place of rest for families, next to the Monument. In the oposite side stands the Presidential palace.

Churches are found here and there, quite resembling Mosques if it wasn't for their crosses..

The imposing Aleppo citadel

A partial view of the city from the citadel's walls.

The famous Norias at Hama on our way to the eclipse site.

Remnants of the civil strife against the Muslim Brotherhood on the citadel's walls at Hama.

On our way back, a handsome mosque at Homs.

Some Mosque adornments.

Back at Damascus for the Perseid observation campaign. Among the places visited was the mausoleum of Abu Ala al-Maari, the famous Arab poet.

The path of totality crossed the upper Middle East, crossing Turkey, the Northern tip of Syria, Iraq, Iran...

We see clearly here the Northern tip of Syria, with the Kurdish city of Malkiya situated very close to the border and deep inside the band of totality.

Viewing the Eclipse
It lead us to Malkiya near Qameshli in Northern Syria, right next to the Turkish border

of the August 11, 1999 Eclipse

from Malkiya - Syria

(Pictures taken by J. M. in collaboration with Nabil Sairafi)

The starry sky at Malkiya during the eclipse

The Algerian Team of Observers


From left to right, standing and sitting:
Ismail, Riadh, Chamseddine, Jamal
(Abdel Hakim missing)

The Two Members of the SIRIUS Delegation
in Blissful Contemplation

From left to right
Chamseddine MOUATSI and J. M.
The Sun's Disk Bitten!
Some 10 mn after the start
... Nibbled
Some 20 mn after the start
Notice the 3 large solar spots.
... gulped
Some 30 mn after the start
... Snatched
Some 40 mn after the start
... Gobbled
Less than 15 mn before the totality
...k Devoured
Few minutes before the totality
... Swallowed
The Corona in all its Glory
Whirlwind from the North West
Half way during the Partial Eclipse

More Pictures of the Arab Delegations
They came from Kuwait, Jordan, Syria
Libya, Tunis, and Algeria
Gathering around the Projection Screen

The observation site was at the top floor
of a high school in the city of Malkiya, in the province of Hasakeh, at the Northern tip of Syria

More about the Eclipse Sighting

One of the most beautiful pictures of the Sun's corona during the totality by Espenak (Mr. Eclipse).

Picture of the moving "darkened spot" on Earth from the Russian Mir space station

A nice animation of the moving shadow on Earth. The black dot refers to the totality spot. In Northern Algeria, the eclipse was 60% partial.

A real animation this time from Meteosat. Watch how the darkened spot moves across Europe and the Middle East. Notice that Europe was covered for the most part by clouds and in fact, larges regions there experienced heavy rains.
Beware, it is quite a voluminous file and it takes some time to load.(Copyright © 2001 EUMETSAT)

Reporting on the Eclipse

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The Perseid Observation Campaign
from Damascus