The 2006 Eclipse : Accounts

A collection of accounts and photos of the 2006 Eclipse sent to this web site by e-mail


Helmut and Arnhild Lengsfeld

Couple we met at the Temple of Apollo a few days before the eclipse.

We had not decided to stay near our hotel, but we also couldn't decide to go to Apollo Temple. We had heard of plans of the municipality to make the event a happening with music and other things, something I would not have liked. Instead we decided to find a place in the dunes of the eastern beaches (behind the amphitheatre). But also there crowds of people had gathered. We twice changed places when groups of loudly chattering people settled near us.

Well, weather was perfect, something I had never dared to dream of. I didn't know that the corona would be so clearly visible. Venus was so bright that we could see her long time after the sun had reappeared. Also the blue and red colours of the horizon were wonderful. We are extremely grateful that we had the opportunity to admire this great wonder of Nature. (It would interest me, if you could compare this eclipse with the Venezuelan eclipse.)

Moreover, I have learnt to appreciate again, and in a new way, my first opportunity to observe a total eclipse in August 1999 (in Southern Germany). Now I am thankful that I experienced it exactly as it was, with a cloud obscuring much of the sun / moon a minute before the second contact. I didn't need my sun-protecting glasses any longer. The area was covered in a pale light. No corona, no diamond ring, and no planets. Then, suddenly, darkness fell in so as if a heavy (but weightless) black curtain was falling down on me. A cold wind moved in. I was stunned. (I wonder if you had a similar feeling in Cornwall?).

Back home I tried to describe to my wife what I had felt. I still remember that I coined the phrase � it was like a �silent roar�. The combining of two contradictary words, isn't it a sign that our language(s) have no adequate words for this strange feeling? Now, what had happened in 1999, has certainly not been according to my hopes and longing. But that adventure of the sudden darkness, I did not have this time (2006) under such perfect conditions. I didn't feel it so abrupt and intense. Two wonderful adventures, different but equally valuable. Thanks.

Dear friends, I am impressed by your home page and your far reaching activities and interests, ranging from linguistics to science. I would feel honoured if you could the time for a little answer.

Very kind regards

KryssTal Reply: Lovely to hear from you, both.

To answer your question - Venezuela was better because there were three planets clearly visible, the colours were more dramatic and the sea became green. But 2006 was a very good eclipse. We're both glad you enjoyed yourselves.

We're already thinking about Mongolia in 2008.

Cliff Jackson

I'm just back from Side where I watched the eclipse from the beach about a couple of kms to the east of Side. I had a brilliant time during the two weeks in Antalya and Side and met a lot of geat people, some from Turkey, some shadow-chasers and some people who just happened to be there and were wondering what all the fuss was about (until they saw the eclipse).

A lot of people were talking about Shanghai in 2009, but maybe Mongolia or Northern China in 2008 may be do-able. A total eclipse at sunset must be pretty impressive.

KryssTal Reply: Hi Cliff,

You must have been a little closer to the centre line than we were. Lovely day, wasn't it. We had similar experiences to you.

Hi Kryss,

I was looking at your photos and was amazed to recognize you! A day or two before the eclipse you were walking around the temple with an eclipse T-shirt from Venezuela and I asked you if you were maybe there for the eclipse. After chatting for a while I got talking to a German guy you were with (in German) just in front of the bars near the temple and I remember now he mentioned your name, which I understood to be "Chris". It's just now I've made the link. I'm a tall guy approaching 60 too rapidly. Small world, huh!

So is it to be Mongolia or Northern China in 2008? A sunset eclipse should be pretty interesting.

Kind regards,

KryssTal Reply: Yes, I remember you.

We had gone to look at the eclipse site and had run into the German couple you mention (they are Helmut and Arnhild Lengsfeld whose email is above). You and I began talking as we were walking back towards the town. We left the three of you talking as we had to get back to Antalya. Yes it is a small world. Pity we couldn't have chatted longer.

I fancy Mongolia because I've never been there and it sounds as if it might be interesting.

Jane Cheshire

Hi, I've just returned to Manchester from Turkey where I witnessed my first solar eclipse on the beach at Belek. I'm looking forward to seeing your photos on your web page. What amazed me was the delicate pastel colours of the sky and I'm wondering if you will have captured these? Your photo of the 95 eclipse in India is the closest to resembling the colours in Turkey, so I've printed it off and blacked in the sun.

Look forward to seeing your Turkish photos and reading your experience. Congratulations on your website [which] gave me inspiration. I wrote in my diary that one of my life goals, is to get to India in 2009 as I think you said that is going to be the longest eclipse in the 21st Century.

KryssTal Reply: Although India is on the path of totality it is at sunrise and in the Himalayas and it's monsoon time - not the best combination. Either China or somewhere in the Pacific off the coast of Japan would be better. Weather conditions will be available nearer the time.

Mari Laxmi von Hoffmann

Woman we met in Estonia (2005) who joined us for the eclipse.

Hi from Bodrum! We had a fun time talking with Lex and Trinette til the wee hours of the 30th after our wonderful time at the Apollo Temple. They joined us on a trip to Termosses later that day too. Not to be missed as you said, even in the misty rain clouds! Divine Mother sure treated us well with a clear sky day for the eclipse followed by a rainy day!

We don't know when we will be flying back to LA because the man in Istanbul hasn't been able to get us a reasonable priced flight yet. Maybe we will have to fly to London to get one. If so, maybe we can see you again before Mongolia! Thanks again for including us on the big day and making it so special.

No longer a virgin, Mari

Jonathan Linney

Work colleague

Kryss, Good morning!

Hope you had a wonderful trip to Turkey!

Syria and Jordan were totally magical - Roman cities, Crusader Castles, Petra.... wonderful food and people.

And here's the moment I captured on my camera pointing to the sky at 12.37pm, 29th March 2006 on the hill outside the rows of tombs.

Partial Eclipse from Petra
Partial eclipse from Petra.

Glen Williams

Fellow eclipse chaser who stayed at the Sabah Pension with us

Hi Kryss and Talaat,

I'm so sorry I never got to say goodbye to you two. I went to bed early Friday night as I had to get up for 04:00 to get a ride to the airport. I had a wonderful time talking, having beers and sharing stories with the both of you.

I did have quite the hellish journey back home, which included almost being late for my Athens-JFK flight and Delta losing some of my stuff along the way but I suppose that all comes with it. I certainly gained much more than I lost on my journey, including the chance to see many interesting sights and meet great new people.

I'm going to start working on an eclipse/travel site shortly, since my dispatches from abroad received very favourable reviews from the people back home. After I finish the site I will join your webring so we can keep in touch. I'm looking forward to meeting you again.

Karen Simmons and Nicki Mackin

Hi KryssTal

We are the two girls who were on the wall adjacent to your party at Side during the Turkey 2006 eclipse. It was our first eclipse and we came hopelessly prepared as far as cameras equipment was concerned. But that doesn't matter it was a wonderful experience which we will never forget.

Nicki was taking still photos with an SLR and 500mm lens and I (Karen) was taking video with a Sony handy cam. We also had a digital camera which we snapped away with, but unfortunately two days after the eclipse our apartment was broken into and we had our laptop stolen (together with the digital camera, handy cam, and mobile phones) onto which we had downloaded about 150 digital images. Luckily the video footage and stills film was not stolen.

Although this was a bit of a dampener on the trip it could not diminish our experience of the eclipse and we are now looking forward to viewing out video footage and stills photographs.

For me what will always remain in my memory is the image of that black disc high in the sky surrounded by what appeared to be a ring of fire. It's a sight that is now etched into the memories of my mind. The other images which I will always remember are the appearance of Venus in the sky just above the Temple of Apollo, and the sudden onset of darkness as the moon finally eclipsed the sun.

As for Nicki I can only say that she seemed completely dazed for at least two hours afterwards. We both sat in having lunch really not saying a lot as I don�t think we could find any words appropriate enough to describe our experience.

We are now both hooked and want to see another, and have been debating the pros and cons of 2008 versus 2009. The latter seems more likely as it is longer and can be viewed from a better location, although you never know we might make an appearance at the 2008 eclipse somewhere. We will certainly go along better equipped to get some more professional images of the event, but we both acknowledge that the experience can never beat the first time.

We are looking forward to the completion of your Web pages on the event so that we can see some of your pictures and we our particularly interested in obtaining other images taken at the Temple of Apollo, especially any of us which will hopefully go some way to replacing the images we lost.

The next thing we also want to do is build a small web site and put up what images we have and relate our experiences so please watch this space. Your web site was helpful to us before we went and hopefully we can do something similar which will be helpful and of interest to others.

Best Wishes

KryssTal Reply: Hello Karen, Nicki.

I'm glad you enjoyed the eclipse but I was sorry to hear about the loss of your digital images. That's alway a fear when travelling - everything else is replacable. I hope your video and stills come out and am looking forward to seeing them. Eclipses can be overwhelming when you don't quite know what to expect. You'll be better prepared for the next one.

When deciding where to see an eclipse, don't be put off by the apparent short length of an eclipse - they all have something to offer. The India eclipse of 1995, for example, was total for "only" 55 seconds but gave a lovely panorama, a beautiful chromosphere, a superbly coloured sky and two planets.

I remember taking a photo of the two of you and I'm attaching it. I'm sorry we never got to talk but you know what it was like - so much to experience and so little time. Have just watched the Sky At Night program on TV, filmed a few kilometres from our location, and it brought back all the memories.

Thank you for writing.

Karen and Nicki
Karen and Nicki around 8am.

Hello, KryssTal. We have developed our stills film. Here is a sample of our photos.

Karen and Nicki's Corona
The wonderful corona from Side.

Karen and Nicki's Chromosphere
The pink chromosphere and Bailey's Beads.
The Diamond Ring
The Diamond Ring.

Peter Hill

Met in southern Africa for the 2002 eclipse and joined us for 2006.

Dear Kryss and Talaat,

Just wanted to say that I thought your reporting of all our activities in Turkey on your site was absolutely first class, even down to the basics of a Turkish bath. I think you were more modestly dressed than I.

Richard Bellia

Met in India for the 1995 eclipse and joined us in Turkey.

Hi Kryss,

We did not see each other after the eclipse. In fact I was a few kilometers east. Here is a picture of the [taxi] trip [to Side]. I will send more later.

A bientot.

Sunrise from Taxi
Sunrise from a taxi on the way to Side on eclipse day (Talaat right).

Jorge Almeida

Dear Krysstal

I�m an amateur astronomer Portuguese. I went to Side to observe my first Total Solar Eclipse (TSE). I assisted TSE very near of you! I discovered it in this week. Really I see some person at 8. 30 a.m. where you observe the eclipse. So, I will share to you a big report I made about TSE and show you my webpage.

Here goes my big report about Total Solar Eclipse. You can see some images (I didn't have a telescope .. exception for PST, during totality, of course, image is black.)

You can put in your website about TSE 2006 my webpage with report:

Please let me know what you think about this report.

Here goes the big report!

The 29th March 2006, between 13 h 54 min and 13 h 58 min, those almost 4 minutes touched me in such a way that it looked like a dream, or, maybe, as someone said, the dream was exceeded. I grabbed the chance to attend something that is reported as absolutely unlosable, and that everybody should watch at least once. As the lonely delegate of the group Proxima Centauri, from Coimbra, I went to the historical site of SIDE, in Turkey, situated 6 km (3,75 miles) east of the central line. It was past 8 o'clock, when I got ready to climb one of the marble columns which in times of yore, supported the now partially ruined temple of Apollo and Athena.

This was a privileged location, with a view of more than 180 degrees to the Mediterranean and the huge temple of Apollo to the right. Gradually thousands of people gathered near Side, be it near the temple, the roman theatre, along the roads pinpointed by old columns or near the sea. Everything was prepared in frenzy for the coming event. The bright temple of Phoebus (another name for Apollo) with its imposing columns and frontispiece, contrasted with the blue hue of the Mediterranean sea and of the sky, the stage where the glorious event would take place when Selene would hide all the power of Helios. The sentence "Tempus fugit" is perfect to define this kind of event. How fast the time elapsed! It was not possible to stop it (I wish I could).

And it was the time.

I noticed, near the southeast horizon, a very slow darkening. It was the sign that thousands of people were close to testify one of the more spectacular natural events, resulting, in this case, from the fortunate coincidence of the tree celestial bodies more important to us being almost perfectly aligned.

From this moment on I enter in a completely new and ephemerous world yes, I entered a magic world during 4 brief minutes. Along with the darkening to Southeast (both sides of that direction the sky was brighter) I noticed the sea becoming dark like if it was under a process of chemical transformation. An elongated cloud, in the southeast horizon became black. In the meanwhile the luminosity was changing phantasmagorically. The hue was ethereal. I looked to the people faces and looked like stones. This hue produced such a dramatic effect that all seemed to be immobilised and their faces vanishing. Colours in hue violet and gray, indescribable, engulfed us. Shortly before totality, there was a light wind and a breeze.

Emotions were at the highest as we saw a very thin decrescent of the Sun. Everyone clapping by the second contact, crying with joy or waiting silently and I saw something calling our attention, a brilliant Venus shining like a sudden Iridium.

It looked like an exploding supernova. The fall in luminosity with the eclipsing of those 1% of the Sun was so impressive that I shuddered. This strange and fast darkening was much unreal. Then I looked again at the Sun (I missed the diamond ring while watching Venus) and saw something that deranged me even more. It was a tremendous impact to stare at a black disc, darker than coal, embedded in the most glamorous colour that any artist might mimic.

It was like if a thousand thunders had hit the temple of Apollo without any damage whatsoever, but leaving an indelible mark in our memories. The resplendent corona and the beautiful white colour at millions of degrees Celsius and more sublime than snow and in six beautiful streamers.

The inner corona rounded the entire disc of the Moon and, from there, grew the streamers in such a way that I was able to determine the solar equator quite accurately.

Having conscience that the temple close to me had an history of 21 centuries, that it was my first total solar eclipse and that I was listening to a Mozart symphony - the play was marvellous - I could not stop some tears for such a spectacle.

Being impossible to resist, I felt like floating, apart from the cheering of the crowd.

It was unreal, yes un unreal experience. My brain searched for an explanation, going to the deepest places, confused with the sightings. We all became a whole momentarily integrated in the nature. This solar corona was so charming that I stared at it for two long minutes. I felt stunned, astonished, immobilised. Reality looked like a dream, objectiveness ceased to exist to allow for the emotions to extravasate.

Trying to remember these moments I clearly recall the Baily beads, visible at the second contact. Five wonderful pearls of light and the rays of light before totality and that showed the diffraction patterns, being visible a cross in each pearl, and showing only tree arms in some of them.

I am not sure but I think to remember a slightly pink colour close to them.

And, during totality I spotted very clearly Mercury. Remarkable because never had I seen Mercury so high in the sky or at such a time. I did not see any star, but I didn't look for them, my glued to the corona.

And, at the same time, a strange sky which gained new colours, a reddish hue near the horizon, becoming whiter as we drove away from it, then darkening to the zenith.

Concerning the meteorological parameters, the relative humidity doubled during the 30 minutes preceding the totality, the temperature lowered to 15O C (59O F), this fall being less important than in the last annular eclipse. Curiously the atmospheric pressure remained almost constant.

The profusion of events in an eclipse happens almost simultaneously and it is difficult to pay the due attention to all of them. But it is exalting for any human being to witness a celestial show like a total solar eclipse.

I understand now why so much is said about it. All I saw before, in celestial events, is relegated to a secondary plan, in favour of this one.

For me, the highlights were the immediate shining of Venus, the stunning solar corona, the Baily beads in the 2nd contact and the ethereal colour, even alien, we might say.

I was not expecting such magnificence, based on my readings. It is something odd for the human experience, like to unfold a new dimension.

Animal behaviour - Impressive absence of activity, exception for the thousands of humans who shouted, or clapped their hands or embraced one another. To remember.

Location: Side, Antalya, Turkey, Temple of Apollo 36O 45.845' N ; 31O 23.189' E - 6 km (3,75 miles) to the East of the eclipse central line. 2 m altitude.

Time Temperature (°C) Humidity (%) Pressure (kPa)
08:30 23.7 34 1019
11:22 31.5 20 1027
11:25 30.6 20 1021
11:35 29.6 20 1027
11:39 29.5 20 1027
12:00 34.4 20 1027
12:38 37.6 20 1027
13:13 35.5 20 1027
13:17 33.2 20 1027
13:27 28.8 20 1029
13:35 26.7 25 1029
13:43 24.8 33 1029
13:52 21.6 45 1029
13:59 20.1 54 1029
14:00 19.7 56 1029

I intend to observe the next total eclipse in Siberia / Mongolia / Northern China (1 August 2008) or near Shanghai (possibly at the South) / Bonin Island / Pacific (22 July 2009 )!

I know that you will observe Mongolia TSE.. Do you know which localities you plan to observe?


KryssTal Reply: Hola, Jorge.

I liked your story and your web site and your photos. I especially enjoyed your measurements of temperature, humidity and pressure.

I hope we can meet at the next eclipse - we may go to Russia.

I suppose that your group appears in this photo! :) Incredible! :))

Eclipse Site
The eclipse site at Side. Our group is above the blue banner.

KryssTal Group
Observing the eclipse.

KryssTal Reply: Yes, I can see myself and the rest of our group. Wonderful.

Obrigado (thank you).

Sedat Sabah and Teresa

Part of the family running the Sabah Pension in Antalya


We hope you will enjoy our pictures. Many greetings from Antalya.

Antalya before totality Antalya during totality
Antalya before and during totality.

Teresa with the eclipsed Sun
Teresa with the eclipsed Sun.

Sedat during totality
Sedat during totality.

The Dowding Family

Family staying at the Sabah Pension

Bethan Dowding
Drawing by Bethan Dowding.

Roisin Dowding
Drawing by Roisin Dowding.

KryssTal Related Pages

The 2006 eclipse main page.

Maps of the path of the 2006 eclipse from Fred Espenak and eclipse details at the observation site.

Venus and Mercury were both photographed during the eclipse.

Accounts, comments and photos from or about the 2006 eclipse sent to this web site are reproduced here.

People from the 2006 eclipse.

Turkish newspapers from the 2006 eclipse.

The excitement during totality is such that not all photos come out as expected.

Travel photos from Turkey.

This page features general emails sent to the KryssTal Eclipses web site. Incuded are comments about the web pages (both good and bad) as well as questions.