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August 11, 1999

Janoshaza, Hungary
l = 17 09' 32" E
j = 47 08' 03" N


Ten travellers, today known as the Janoshaza Team: DRADE, KACJA, PETNA, PREMA, ROJBO, ROJHE, SOBMO, TUFME, ZAKJU and ZALDA set on a journey with no destination on August 10 in the year 1999 AD. A decision was made to make a stop at Fokovci, where an astronomical camp was taking place and a lecture on the eclipse by dr. Zwitter was due in the evening. The stop would also enable us to check the latest satellite images and weather forecasts to make the vital decisions on the location easier. We estimated that Eastern Hungary should clear up by midnight and should be completely clear the next morning. Now we had a destination - Janoshaza!

We reached Janoshaza with little difficulties at around 23h local. We only had to pick a suitable observation spot. In about 30 minutes we found a dirt road in the middle of the fields and dropped our gear there and set up camp. At 00:14 local we commenced our meteor watch. The relative distance from settlements made the sky very dark and a deep LM of +6.8 was achieved. Balancing the excitement was the air fleet of mosquitoes and also we were beginning to feel the exhaustion from the previous observing nights. Nevertheless, in 3.30hrs teff of observations, KACJA recorded 116 meteors (PER, CAP, AQU, KCG and Spor) and no less than 360 Mosquitoids (a new shower that needs no confirmation). At 04:05 we were seeing (as a matter of fact, only KACJA and ZAKJU were awake by then...) the beginnings of a thunderstorm that was approaching Janoshaza. Before the rain came (04:36) we were able to make 11 exposures that speak about the intensity of the thunderstorm.

We managed to store the 8'' Meade LX50 into the car just in time and a little wet, we crawled inside. After what appeared a short nap, KACJA and ZAKJU were violently thrown out of their sleep by an overexcited ZALDA at 6h local! The excitement was all due to a small hole in the clouds... ...it clouded over and cleared up several times, and by 8h in the morning we were serously considering moving to another location! As we were not able to establish communication with HMZ Slovenia we decided to stay in Janoshaza. And it was a good decision! 30 minutes before first contact the sky completely cleared up and it seemed the weather would hold until the end of the eclipse.

First we observed the Sun with the telescope to estimate the activity - there were fewer spots than in the previous days, but it would do for the time being. Then we began preparing for the eclipse - setting up cameras, telescopes, filters...

We noticed the first contact at 9:25 UT, first through the scope and soon after with the naked eye. About an hour into the eclipse we noticed strange behaviour with the animals ranging from mosquitoes to birds and deer. They were behaving as if they had never seen an eclipse?!?! J

We too were becoming more and more restless as the sunlight became dimmer and dimmer.
At 10:53 came the moment we were all waiting for - second contact. From behind the Moon's shadow the corona blazed, rarely as glorious as today and several crimson prominences hugged the Moon's dark limb. We noted planets Venus and Mercury, while reportedly PETNA even saw a meteor! The 2 minutes and 22 seconds passed quicker than you read this sentance!
The shortest 2.37 minutes of our lives!

 

After third contact at 10:55 the excitement gave way to relief and even the 99% eclipsed Sun was not very interesting anymore. Nonetheless, we aimed the telescope at Venus, 3.5% illuminated at the time with a 56'' diameter!!

We awaited fourth contact relaxed at a snack. We soon began packing up and making our way towards Slovenia, where we observed meteors at MBK the following night. But that... ...is another story.



Prime focus photographs taken with 8'' f/10 SCT

Photographs taken with 300-mm lens.
All photographs and text on this page are © 1999 by MBK Team.

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MBK Team 1999 Total Solar Eclipse report from Pinkafeld, Austria

MBK Team 1999 Total Solar Eclipse report from Szombathely, Hungary

 

Fred Espenak's Eclipse

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