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Darkness at noon
L'éclipse totale de soleil du 21 juin 2001, en Angola
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Angola in Southern Africa was the first country on Earth to see the solar eclipse of June 21, 2001. In spite of difficulties due to the guerrilla warfare then raging in Angola, scientists from the CNRS Institut d'astrophysique chose that country to take their observations, on account of the greatest likelihood of good weather, the longer duration of the phenomenon, and the optimal height of the sun above the horizon. Eclipses enable us to observe the solar corona, which is otherwise entirely invisible from earth. As well as taking observations, the research team, directed by Serge Koutchmy, appeared on television programs and at press conferences to inform the local population about the event, and also consulted with the Luanda science departments on a plan for a solar observatory.