Total Solar Eclipse
Turkey 1999

The Sultan and Sultana of Chicago,
Bob & Claire the Magnificent,
welcome you to their eclipse page.
We'd like to share with you some
of our memories of Turkey and
the total eclipse of August 11.

Phases of the eclipse photographed by Claire Gadbois at Lake Hazar near Elazig.

This was our third eclipse trip, the previous being to Bolivia in 1994 and to Aruba in 1998. We've also been to Egypt in 2006 and Australia in 2012. Our first three were with Spears Travel. Egypt was with Astronomical Tours and Australia was with Spears Travel again. We are members of the Chicago Astronomical Society and were seduced into being eclipse chasers by our club friend Mike Barrett. Bolivia retains a special place in our hearts because of its magical qualities and because we were privileged to get acquainted with Ken Willcox who passed away in January 1999. Our thoughts were with him through the Turkey trip. In Ken's absence the tour was handled flawlessly by Gary Spears with the expert advice of NASA's foremost eclipse expert, Fred Espenak.

The Blue Mosque

City of Istanbul

Town of Elazig

The country of Turkey, to which we traveled, was a wonderful surprise:
great cultural contrasts, great history and beauty, and wonderful people.
Their hospitality was second to none. We consider them as friends, and
it was especially painful to us to see the terrible tragedy that befell them
in mid-August 1999 when the country was devastated by a catastrophic
earthquake a week after we returned home.
  Tour leader Salih

Lake Hazar observing site

Fred Espenak

The Approaching totality shadow

There were perfect skies at Lake Hazar. The observing site, while hot, had every amenity one could want, including a lake in which to cool off. The totality, at just over 2 minutes, was too short, but what a wonder it was to behold! At a period of maximum solar activity the sun and moon put on a great show for us. The corona streamed equally in every direction to distances we never saw before. Solar prominences were everywhere. Two videographers even captured what looked like a satellite traveling past the sun's proximity at totality's end. Another captured the shadow bands. And that was just video. The eclipse "virgins," of whom there were many, were simply awstruck and dumbfounded. It was wonderful.

2nd Contact



3rd Contact

Diamond Ring

The 5 photos above were taken by Claire Gadbois using an old Canon F1
attached to a Celestron C90 1000mm scope.

Note: Click above images for a larger view.


The image to the left is from a Hi8 video
shot by Bob Gadbois during totality.
Click on this image to see a continuous
loop of 3 back-to-back movies showing
2nd contact, totality and 3rd contact.

PSST!! Want to hear what it was like?
Try this
edited sound clip.

Questions? Comments? E-mail us.