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Best photos of November 3 solar eclipse

Total solar eclipse of July 22, 2009 as captured by Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar from Bangladesh.  Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Tonight for November 3, 2013

The tropical regions of Africa enjoyed a ringside seat to the second and last solar eclipse of 2013 today (Sunday, November 3, 2013). Those in Africa saw either a total solar eclipse or a deep partial solar eclipse in the afternoon hours on November 3. Much of the rest of the world saw a partial eclipse on November 3. Over the Atlantic Ocean, just as the eclipse began, it was an annular or ring eclipse. Almost immediately thereafter, it changed into a total eclipse. That’s why people are calling this a hybrid eclipse.

This morning's eclipse as seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina by Yoder Images.  See more from Yoder Images here.

This morning’s eclipse as seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, North Carolina by Yoder Images. See more from Yoder Images here.

GregDiesel Landscape Photography  captured this beautiful shot of today's eclipse at sunrise in North Carolina.  Thank you, GregDiesel!  Visit GregDiesel's Online Gallery here.

GregDiesel Landscape Photography captured this beautiful shot of today’s eclipse at sunrise in North Carolina. Thank you, GregDiesel! Visit GregDiesel’s Online Gallery here.

Today's solar eclipse seen in Brazil by Shivan Bruce Skipper.  The November 3 eclipse was partial as seen from the east coast of the Americas.  Thank you Shivan Bruce!

Today’s solar eclipse seen in Brazil by Shivan Bruce Skipper. The November 3 eclipse was partial as seen from the east coast of the Americas. Thank you Shivan Bruce!

Solar eclipse of November 3, 2013 as seen by Ken Christison in North Carolina.  Thank you, Ken!

Solar eclipse of November 3, 2013 as seen by Ken Christison in North Carolina. Thank you, Ken! See a cool progression of eclipse images by Ken Christison here.

Chris Carabela captured this image of today's eclipse from Long Beach Boardwalk, NY.  Thank you, Chris!

Chris Carabela captured this image of today’s eclipse from Long Beach Boardwalk, NY. Thank you, Chris!

Photo by Ben Cooper/Launch Photography.  Visit Launch Photography online.

Photo of November 3, 2013 eclipse – during mid-eclipse – taken from 43,000 feet over the Atlantic Ocean aboard a 12-person Falcon 900B jet chartered from Bermuda by Ben Cooper/Launch Photography. Visit Launch Photography online. Used with permission.

Photo by Ben Cooper/Launch Photography.  Visit Launch Photography online.

Photo by Ben Cooper/Launch Photography. Visit Launch Photography online. Used with permission.

Taken this morning in Moyock, North Carolina by Rick Taylor.  Thanks Rick!

Taken this morning in Moyock, North Carolina by Rick Taylor. Thanks Rick!

Photo by Guy Newlan, who wrote,

Photo by Guy Newlan, who wrote, “Partial solar eclipse at sunrise in Orlando, FL 11-3-2013. To bright for even my fastest shutter speed.”

November 3, 2013 eclipse by Jennifer Marie.  She was in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.  She wrote,

November 3, 2013 eclipse by Jennifer Marie. She was in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. She wrote, “A beautiful clear morning with an vibrant orange glow throughout the sky and birds everywhere welcoming and enjoying the sunrise.” Visit Jennifer’s website NatureExposed.

World map of 2013 November 3 solar eclipse

Worldwide map of the 2013 November 3 solar eclipse. The eclipse moves across the world from west to east (left to right), starting at the Americas at sunrise and finishing up at sunset in far eastern Africa and the Middle East. The narrow blue line crossing the Atlantic and equatorial Africa depicts the narrow path of the central total eclipse, which is only 58 kilometers wide at its widest point.The large swaths of the world bracketing the total eclipse path to the north (above) and south (below) show the varying degrees of the partial solar eclipse. Image credit: NASA eclipse web site

Animation of November 3 solar eclipse

Animation of 2013 November 3 solar eclipse. The large gray circle shows the area of the partial solar eclipse. The very small dark dot in the middle depicts the path of the total solar eclipse.

Where in Africa was the total eclipse seen?

Click here for more info about seeing the partial eclipse from outside Africa.

Why is the eclipse on 2013 November 3 called a hybrid solar eclipse?

Path of the solar eclipse 2013 November 3 courtesy of NASA

Remember, you must use proper eye protection to watch a partial eclipse.

Where in Africa is the total eclipse being seen? The only total eclipse of the sun in all of 2013 passes over equatorial Africa (Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia) in the afternoon hours on November 3, 2013. The moon’s dark shadow (umbra) first touches the Earth’s surface at sunrise in the Atlantic Ocean around 1000 kilometers east of Jacksonville, Florida, at 11:05 Universal Time (UT). The moon’s dark shadow then goes eastward across the Atlantic Ocean and equatorial Africa. Some three and one-third hours after its initial landing on Earth, the moon’s dark shadow leaves the Earth’s surface at sunset from Somalia, Africa.

However, as seen from any one spot in Africa, the total eclipse of the sun lasts – at most – just a little over one minute. Totality lasts for 67 seconds in western Gabon (2:51 p.m. local time), and only one second long in Somalia as the moon’s shadow starts its liftoff from Earth.

Path of total solar eclipse

The total solar eclipse path crosses Gabon at 13:54 Universal Time (UT) and finally leaves the Earth’s surface in Somalia at 14:27 UT. Image credit: NASA eclipse web site. Click on this link to find out eclipse times.

Solar eclipse illustration

The eclipse at left (A) is a total solar eclipse whereas the one at right (B) is an annular eclipse. Anyone within the moon’s penumbra (C) sees a partial solar eclipse

Why is the eclipse on 2013 November 3 called a hybrid solar eclipse?. If the new moon aligns with the sun so as to pass directly in front of the solar disk, it’s called a central eclipse. A central eclipse can either be a total eclipse of the sun, or an annular, or ring, eclipse of the sun. During a total eclipse, the moon is close enough to Earth to totally cover over the solar disk. During an annular eclipse, the moon lies too far away from Earth to completely cover over the solar disk. In that case, a thin ring – or annulus – of sunshine surrounds the new moon silhouette.

A hybrid solar eclipse refers to a solar eclipse in which some sections of the central eclipse path are annular while other parts are total.

For the November 3 eclipse, if you are at just the right spot in the Atlantic Ocean, you’d see a four-second annular eclipse at sunrise. According to Jean Meeus and Fred Espenak, the eclipse changes from annular to total in just fifteen seconds, and the remainder of the approximate 13,600-kilometer central eclipse track remains total.

On the other hand, the International Astronomical Union and the U.S. Naval Observatory – using slightly different parameters – call it a total solar eclipse.

Technically speaking, by Meeus and Espenak’s calculations, the 2013 November 3 is a hybrid (annular-total) solar eclipse. However, the eclipse changes from annular to total almost immediately after the start of the central eclipse, and moreover, the moon comes progressively closer to Earth throughout the duration of this eclipse.

November 2013 solar eclipse chart

Map of the eclipse path of the 2013 November 3 solar eclipse provided by the NASA Eclipse Web Site. Click here and travel the world!

Bottom line: The moon’s shadow swept across Earth on Sunday, November 3, creating a total eclipse of the sun. The best place to observe the total eclipse was Africa. This is the second and last solar eclipse of 2013. Those in Africa saw either a total solar eclipse or a deep partial solar eclipse in the afternoon hours on November 3. Over the Atlantic Ocean, just as the eclipse began, it was an annular or ring eclipse. Part total, part annular. That’s unusual, and it’s why people are calling this a hybrid eclipse.

Eye safety during solar eclipses