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Eclipse 2001 - Lusaka

The total eclipse was a fantastic experience. We saw it from the eclipse village at Lusaka airport. Being with 5000 screaming people as totality began certainly helped to set the atmosphere. It gets cold as the sun fades out, birds fly up to go and roost, the light takes on an eerie blue glow. As the last of the sun vanishes the sky turns a deep blue and the bright stars become visible - Jupiter, Sirius and Canopus were easily seen. In the centre of it all is a ring of fire in the sky surrounding what seems like a black hole. White streamers flare away from it, prominences and eruptions glow along its edges. Shadow bands move like ghosts across the ground. A red "sunset" is visible all around the horizon. At the end of totality the first speck of the sun's disk reappears as a brilliant flare of light at one point on the ring of fire - the "diamond ring". Within seconds it is too bright to look at with the naked eye, and one is left standing in an eerie blue light, which slowly fades as more of the sun appears.

The photographs were mainly taken by Mike Gaylard and Robyn Bloom - other photographers are noted. Click on the images for full size views.

Drummers and dancers at the entrance to the eclipse village.

Setting up in the "Technical Area"

More setting up...

South Africa stakes a place!

And another place!
Louis Barendse's group with the South African and Zambian flags.

People keep pouring in...

Did we come here to shop or what?
Ingrid has her priorities right.

The man who got us to Lusaka - Brian Fraser. Many thanks, Brian!

Is this camera set up right, Mike worries.

Jan Wolterbeek shows the relaxed way to view an eclipse

Still filling up...

Vladimir demonstrates a serious solar filter.

And still more arrive...

Jeanette gets serious...
The partial phase of the eclipse is underway.

No eclipse is complete without T-shirts.

The American connection.

Half way there...
A beautiful photo by Louis Barendse showing the large sunspots on the sun at the time of the eclipse.

Check the shapes of those shadows.

Light filtering through trees also casts crescent-shaped shadows, nicely captured by Louis Barendse.

Then matters start to speed up and at 15h10 the last of Sun is covered and we have...


TOTALITY! The inner corona and pink prominences, caught by Louis Barendse.

TOTALITY - nobody is lying down now...

TOTALITY - what a sight!

The Diamond Ring - the first reappearance of the surface of the Sun - blindingly bright after totality - was beautifully captured by Neels du Plooy, who kindly allowed us to use his image.

Totality has just finished, the stunning diamond ring has come and gone, and we are bathed in an eerie blue light.

That was the eclipse! and another T-shirt to prove it.

Dazed? Confused? The eclipse is over...

And the plane awaits. Many thanks, Intensive Air!

And many thanks to Zambia for setting up the eclipse village.

For more photo's from Lusaka see: Neville Young's site

Another staff member went overland to Zimbabwe to see the eclipse: see Zimbabwe report and photo's.

HartRAO helped to bring the eclipse to Sowetans. See Partial eclipse as seen from Soweto..

Some really nice corona shots from the eclipse can be seen at the Williams College Eclipse Expedition site.

A nice description of a trip to Africa, with great eclipse photos can be found at the website of Wendt Carlos.