Racing the Moon’s Shadow with Concorde 001

  • Pierre Léna

Part of the Astronomers' Universe book series (ASTRONOM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Pierre Léna
    Pages 1-9
  3. Pierre Léna
    Pages 11-16
  4. Pierre Léna
    Pages 71-77
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 79-103

About this book


This is the unique story of  observing a total solar exlipse for no less than 74 consecutive minutes. On the summer morning of June 30, 1973, the Sun rises on the Canary Islands. But it is strangely indented by the Moon. The eclipse of the century has just begun. From the west, the lunar shadow rushes to the African coast at a velocity of over 2000 kilometers per hour. Astronomers on the ground will enjoy seven short minutes of total eclipse to study the solar corona - too short for Pierre Lena and seven scientists who board the Concorde 001 prototype, an extraordinary plane to become the first commercial supersonic aircraft. With André Turcat as chief pilot and a crew of five, at 17000 m altitude, the aircraft remains in the lunar shadow for 74 minutes, a record time of scientific observations not yet beaten and allowing for exceptional measurements. Science, technology, aviation and history combine in the story of a unique human adventure aboard a legendary aircraft, illustrated with a rich and original iconography. It reflects the wonderful domains that science and technology can open, and the passion in the professions they offer. A must read for every eclipse chaser and fan of true scientific adventures.


Airborne Observatories Concorde Aircraft Observatory Eclipse Chaser Eclipse Hunter Aircraft History Concorde SST List of Solar Eclipses Longest Eclipse Observation Longest Eclipse of the Century SOFIA Observatory Solar Eclipse Observation Supersonic Aircraft

Authors and affiliations

  • Pierre Léna
    • 1
  1. 1.Université Paris Diderot & Observatoire de ParisParisFrance

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-21728-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-21729-1
  • Series Print ISSN 1614-659X
  • Series Online ISSN 2197-6651
  • Buy this book on publisher's site