Starting on November 23rd 2003 and finishing the following day, a total solar eclipse happened over a wide swath of the Antarctic Continent. Interestingly because of the high latitude involved this eclipse was in some instances experienced as a midnight eclipse. If universal or GMT time is used the eclipse happened entirely on  the 23rd of November but if local time is used then the event happened on the 24th of November. Normally a midnight Solar eclipse would be considered impossible but with 24 hour a day daylight in the Antarctic at this time of the year it was in fact a real event.   Because of the exceptionally clear Antarctic atmosphere and the low angle of the sun at these latitudes, the eclipse proved ideal for observation from an aircraft.


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Eclipse1    DAVIS AAT Base Eclipse postcard autographed by Rob Easther    Price US$8


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Eclipse2     DAVIS AAT Base postmarked "Aurora Australis" Polarogramme Price US$6

Note: The above Polarogramme has the Davis Station cachet on its back as shown at right. This cachet is also on the back of the previous postcard listed as Eclipse1.

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Eclipse3   QANTAS Eclipse flight postcard postmarked Sydney on departure Price US$8
ASEQFCroydonpcback.jpg (64858 bytes) Note: the picture at left is the picture side of the above postcard. It shows the QANTAS 747 jet on a previous Antarctic sight seeing trip. This postcard was issued by Croydon Travel, the Australian Travel company which specialises in Antarctic Flights.


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Eclipse4  Eclipse flight postcard postmarked on departure at Sydney Airport    Price US$8



Shown at right are the Antarctic 2003 Eclipse Flight organiser Glenn Schneider in the middle with the QANTAS chief pilot Captain John Dennis at right and the second pilot, Captain Brian Meade at left.

For further details of this flight click here to visit Glenn Schneider's wonderful Solar eclipse site.

Photo Courtesy of Jay Friedland and Glenn Schneider

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The aircraft "Longreach" at Sydney "Reserved Totality Seating" on board
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Sky view as totality approched Totality photographed from "Longreach"

The above four photos were kindly supplied by Paul Gilliam


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Eclipse5          Eclipse postcard postmarked at McMurdo Station           Price US$5
Note: We show at right the back of the above postcard which shows 3 cachets from the American McMurdo Antarctic Station on Ross Island in the Ross Sea.

The stamp used on the postcard is a $1 "Local Post" or unofficial stamp.

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Eclipse6           Eclipse postcard posted from New Zealand's Scott Base.         Price US$5
The above postcard has the two Scott Base cachets as shown at right on its reverse. ASEScottbasepcback.jpg (17675 bytes)


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Eclipse7                             Eclipse postcard posted in New Zealand.                   Price US$3
Note: New Zealand experienced a partial eclipse lasting for about 2 to 3 minutes on the 24th of November.  At Christchurch the eclipse was only about 14% total.


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Eclipse8          Eclipse postcard posted from the Geographic South Pole.   Price US$6
The postcard above is postmarked with a new US Air Force postmark which had only just come into use on the 20th of November 2003. The photo at right was taken at the South Pole on November 23rd by Scott F. Smith and shows a Chilean passenger jet passing overhead on its way to witness the Solar Eclipse. Pole03S17.jpg (18280 bytes)


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Eclipse9          Eclipse postcard posted from the Geographic South Pole.   Price US$6
Note: The postcard above is franked with a $2 Antarctica Local Post stamp which has been postmarked with a special Local Post cancellation for the Eclipse. The postcard has three cachets and a dated cancellation on its reverse as shown at right. ASESPLocalPost$2pcback.jpg (37399 bytes)


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Eclipse10          Eclipse postcard posted from the Geographic South Pole.   Price US$6
The postcard above has the postage paid by the South Pole Post office meter at the 23 cents postcard rate. It bears a JACARA (Joint Australian Centre for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica) sticker on the face and a JACARA cachet on the reverse as shown at right. ASESPJacarapcmeterback.jpg (12893 bytes)


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Eclipse11       Eclipse JACARA Airletter posted from South Pole Station.   Price US$6
Note: We illustrate at right the back of the above airletter which shows a South Pole Station Antarctica cachet as well as a JACARA sticker. ASESPacasroareoback.jpg (61273 bytes)

Go to page for how to order these items

Return to front page of Antarctic Philately from New Zealand

Link to Fred Espenak's Solar Eclipse  website

Link to Chris Malicki's Solar Eclipse philately website

Go to our page for the 2005 Pitcairn Island Solar Eclipse

Return to "Recent Antarctic News" page

Go to front page of Shades Stamp Shop Ltd