2008 Total Solar Eclipse from the Gobi Desert (Northern China)

  Astrophoto Home Page | Home Page  
The August 1, 2008 total solar eclipse started in northern Canada, cut across northern Greenland and the North Atlantic, then continued through Siberia and Mongolia, terminating in China.

<<-- NASA eclipse track diagram

Primarily due to weather prediction considerations, we elected to travel to the Gobi Desert in northern China where the air was driest and most likely to be clear for the eclipse. As it turned out, we viewed the eclipse successfully, but it was an uncertain situation right down to the wire. The virtually cloudless wide angle view of the eclipse [right] hides the fact that our observing site had to be changed at the last minute and we had heavy cloud cover for virtually all of our 3-week trip to Asia, which included Korea, China, and Mongolia.
Considering the short length of this eclipse as well as the low angle of the eclipse (<15° above the horizon at totality) with the associated risk of haze and cloud interference, I decided to concentrate on rapid short exposure sequences at 2nd and 3rd contacts and skip the long exposure sequences I did for the 2006 eclipse in Libya.
Pinhole Images
Bailey's Beads
at Second Contact
after Second Contact

Wide View of the Eclipse
Third Contact, Bailey's Beads,
and Inner Corona
Third Contact, Bailey's Beads,
and Chromosphere

Full Eclipse Sequence
including partial phases
Second Contact
with Bailey's Beads