Some of the eclipses of Saros 143 have contributed significantly to our understanding of the Sun. For instance, during the total eclipse of 1851 July 28, Airy described the Sun's chromosphere in detail, while Grant, Swan and von Littrow determined that prominences were a physical part of the Sun, rather than the Moon. The first photograph of the corona, a daguerreotype, was made in Prussia at this event. The following eclipse of 1869 Aug 7 passed centrally through the United States and is notable for the major scientific expeditions organized to study it. Young and Harkness independently discovered a mysterious, bright green line in the corona's spectrum. It wasn't until 1941 that Edlén identified the line as iron that has lost 13 electrons (Fe XIV). In Russia, Mendeleev used a balloon to ascend above the clouds to observe the total eclipse of 1887 Aug 19. One saros period later, the umbra's path crossed through Spain during the well observed eclipse of 1905 Aug 30.
Although each succeeding path was shifting south towards the equator, the duration of totality began dropping. This was due to the Moon's progressively increasing distance from Earth as each eclipse occurred nearer to apogee. By 1977 Oct 12, the duration had dropped below three minutes. The 1995 Oct 24 event is the twelfth and last total eclipse of Saros 143. The next event of 2013 Nov 3 is a hybrid eclipse since it is total along most of its path but becomes annular near the sunrise and sunset portions of the track. The following three events are each annular/total as the path of totality grows progressively narrower and shorter. Finally, the series produces its first entirely annular eclipse on 2085 Dec 16.
During the next two and a half centuries, the duration of annularity gradually increases as the paths regress northward. The trend north is due to the passage of Earth through the vernal equinox which shifts the northern hemisphere southward with respect to the geocenter. The paths resume their southern migration with the eclipse of 2338 May 20. The duration of annularity now exceeds two minutes. The remaining eleven annular members of the series possess paths that shift progressively south while the duration gradually rises above four minutes. The final annular eclipse occurs on 2536 Sep 16 with a duration of 4 minutes 48 seconds. As the series winds down, it produces twenty more partial eclipses at high southern latitudes. Saros 143 finally ends with its seventy-second event on 2897 Apr 23.
In summary, Saros series 143 includes 72 eclipses with the following distribution:
Saros 143 Partial Annular Ann/Total Total ----------- ------- ------- --------- ----- Non-Central 30 0 0 0 Central -- 26 4 12