The solar eclipse of April 8, 2005 was of the unique hybrid type. A hybrid eclipse is an eclipse where only during a part of the Moon's shadow path the total eclipse is visible while during the other parts of the paths the angular diameter of the Moon is not big enough to cover the Sun and the eclipse is only annular. Unfortunately, the total phase of the hybrid eclipse on April 8, 2005 was not visible from land. Therefore it was necessary to observe the total eclipse from a ship. I joined the expedition led by Richard Fienberg, the editor in chief of Sky & Telescope magazine, which observed the eclipse in South Pacific aboard the Discovery ship. Observing conditions during the 33 second total eclipse were not perfect because of the cirrus cloud. However, after mathematical processing of 28 digital images and 19 images taken on film it was possible to obtain good images of inner and middle solar corona.

The solar eclipse expedition was undertaken with patronage of Josef Vačkář, the Dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Brno University of Technology. The main sponsors of the expedition were Zdeněk Andrýsek and Chemoprag. Mechanical and electronic components which were necessary for successful eclipse photography aboard ship and which made possible to take about fifty usable photographs during a half of minute were designed and made by Martin Antoš and Pavel Štarha. The expedition was supported by AIS software and Olympus.


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Miloslav Druckmüller
Institute of Mathematics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic
Page last update: 19.3.2007