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Solar Eclipses

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Solar eclipses occur during the New Moon, when the Earth enters the penumbra and then possibly the umbra of the Moon. When the Earth only crosses the penumbra of the Moon, we have a partial eclipse of the Sun. When the Earth crosses the axis of the Moon’s umbra we have a central solar eclipse. There are two types of central eclipses: total, when the apparent diameter of the Moon is bigger than that of the Sun (the Sun is fully eclipsed), and annular when the apparent diameter of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. There is a special case where the apparent diameter of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun at the beginning of the eclipse, then bigger (around the maximum) and then smaller again, the eclipse is then called a total-annular eclipse or hybrid eclipse as the one on April 8, 2005.
Those who were forunate enough to witness a total solar eclipse, in an unusual surroundings with clear sky, can testify of the outstanding beauty of such an event that also attracts celebrities. Chasing total solar eclipses is not only an addiction, but an affliction and a way of life that sometimes poses complex logistical, technical and financial problems. A total eclipse of the Sun occurs on average every 18 months (often in hardly reachable locations), but is only visible from a small band - the Path of Totality - and with an average duration of three minutes (maximum duration just over seven minutes). This is why observing such a glorious and majestic event must be well planned in advance as shown in those various scouting trips or airborne when required. You don’t want to find yourself in such inconvenient situation. Choosing your viewing location according to the phenomena you want to observe is equally important. Those who want to concentrate on observing the event visually can rely on Solar Eclipse Maestro to automatically take pictures for them.

You can use this solar eclipse calculator to compute the local circumstances of an eclipse, and the solar eclipse timer notifies the beginning of the various events. A time exposure calculator is there to help you choose your camera settings. You can also subscribe to a mailing list to stay posted.
The interactive Google maps or the Google Earth kmz files let you explore the path of totality and compute local circumstances of contemporary eclipses. Or explore the Five Millennium (-1999 to +3000) Canon of Solar Eclipses and its 11,898 eclipses to help you prepare your eclipse journeys or study historical events.

Mapping Tools & Next Eclipses • Interactive Google maps
• Google Earth kmz files
• Five Millennium Canon

• ASE 2014 April 29
• PSE 2014 October 23
• TSE 2015 March 20
• PSE 2015 September 13
• TSE 2016 March 9
• ASE 2016 September 1st
• ASE 2017 February 26
• TSE 2017 August 21
• PSE 2018 February 15
• PSE 2018 July 13
• PSE 2018 August 11
• PSE 2019 January 6
• TSE 2019 July 2
• ASE 2019 December 26
• ASE 2020 June 21
• TSE 2020 December 14
• ASE 2021 June 10
• TSE 2021 December 4
• HSE 2023 April 20


Total 1991 |  Total 1999 |  Total 2001 |  Annular 2001 |  Total 2002 |  Total 2003 |  Hybrid 2005 |  Annular 2005 |  Total 2006 |  Annular 2006 |  Annular 2008 |  Total 2008 |  Annular 2009 |  Total 2009 |  Annular 2010 |  Total 2010 |  Annular 2012 |  Total 2012 |  Annular 2013 |  Hybrid 2013 |  Annular 2014 |  Total 2015 |  Total 2016 |  Annular 2016 |  Annular 2017 |  Total 2017
TOTALITY! Magazine |  Solar Eclipse Maestro |  Digital Solar Eclipses Atlas
Total Solar Eclipse 1991 Total Solar Eclipse 1999 France Total Solar Eclipse 2001 Angola
Annular Solar Eclipse 2001 Costa Rica Total Solar Eclipse 2002 Australia Total Solar Eclipse 2003 Antarctica
Hybrid Solar Eclipse 2005 Polynesia Annular Solar Eclipse 2005 Libya Total Solar Eclipse 2006 Libya
Annular Solar Eclipse 2006 Kourou French Guiana Annular Solar Eclipse 2008 Mount Vinson Antarctica Total Solar Eclipse 2008 Russia Novosibirsk China Xinjiang Gansu
Annular Solar Eclipse 2009 USA Total Solar Eclipse 2009 Japan Annular Solar Eclipse 2010 Myanmar
Total Solar Eclipse 2010 Easter Island Chile Tuamotu French Polynesia Patagonia Argentina Annular Solar Eclipse 2012 USA Total Solar Eclipse 2012 Australia
Annular Solar Eclipse 2013 Australia Republic Kiribati Annular Solar Eclipse 2013 Flight Kenya Uganda Gabon Annular Solar Eclipse 2014 Antarctica
Total Solar Eclipse 2015 Svalbard Norway North Pole Total Solar Eclipse 2016 Indonesia Micronesia Annular Solar Eclipse 2016 Madagascar
Annular Solar Eclipse 2017 Argentina Google Earth Gallery


Solar Eclipses Map 2001-2020
2001 to 2020
Solar Eclipses Map


Total Solar Eclipse 2017 United States America
Solar Eclipses Map 1961-1980
1961 to 1980
Solar Eclipses Map


Solar Eclipses Map 1981-2000
1981 to 2000
Solar Eclipses Map


Solar Eclipses Map 2021-2040
2021 to 2040
Solar Eclipses Map


Solar Eclipses Map 2041-2060
2041 to 2060
Solar Eclipses Map


Solar Eclipses Map 2061-2080
2061 to 2080
Solar Eclipses Map


Solar Eclipses Map 2081-2100
2081 to 2100
Solar Eclipses Map


Total 1991 |  Total 1999 |  Total 2001 |  Annular 2001 |  Total 2002 |  Total 2003 |  Hybrid 2005 |  Annular 2005 |  Total 2006 |  Annular 2006 |  Annular 2008 |  Total 2008 |  Annular 2009 |  Total 2009 |  Annular 2010 |  Total 2010 |  Annular 2012 |  Total 2012 |  Annular 2013 |  Hybrid 2013 |  Annular 2014 |  Total 2015 |  Total 2016 |  Annular 2016 |  Annular 2017 |  Total 2017
TOTALITY! Magazine |  Solar Eclipse Maestro |  Digital Solar Eclipses Atlas

Scouting Trips & Eclipse Tours



Five Millennium Animated GIFs of Saros Cycles

View the 204 Saros GIF animations by Dan McGlaun
(adapted from Fred Espenak and Jean Meeus Five Millennium Canon)

Solar Eclipse Mailing List & Solar Eclipse Conferences and Workshops

If you want to keep in touch with everything to do with Solar Eclipses you should consider subscribing to the Solar Eclipse Mailing List (SEML).
To subscribe : send an E-mail to SEML-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


At the end of August 2007, the third Solar Eclipse Conference (SEC 2007) was held at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, USA.
To get the proceedings DVD please send requests to .

At the beginning of January 2009, the Solar Eclipse Workshop (SEW 2009) was held at the Shankar Lal Concert Hall in New Delhi, India.

Mid-December 2011, the fourth Solar Eclipse Conference (SEC 2011) was held in New Delhi, India.

At the end of October 2014, the fifth Solar Eclipse Conference (SEC 2014) was held in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, USA.

The next Solar Eclipse Conference (SEC 2018) will be held at the end of July 2018 in Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain).

The next Solar Eclipse Conference (SEC 202x) is likely to be held in 2022 at a yet undetermined location.
Three non-binding proposals have been made: Romania, Iran and India.


IAU International Astronomical Union   Membership number: 15159

Member of the Working Group on Solar Eclipses

TOTALITY!: the digital magazine for eclipse chasers

To sign up for a FREE subscription, please e-mail Larry A. Stevens at TOTALITYnewzine@aol.com.

  TOTALITY!: the digital magazine for eclipse chasers   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 1   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 2   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 3   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 4   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 5   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 6   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 7   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 8   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 9
 
  TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 10   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 11   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 12   TOTALITY! Newzine Issue 13    

Software: Solar Eclipse Maestro

  Solar Eclipse Maestro Software Main Screen Preview

This application controls up to 4 USB, Firewire or Ethernet connected DSLR and CCD cameras during a solar eclipse, so that you can be free to concentrate on observing the event visually. This brief overview will let you know more.

Available for download

Requires: MacOS X 10.4.x (Tiger), 10.5.x (Leopard), 10.6.x (Snow Leopard), 10.7.x (Lion), 10.8.x (Mountain Lion) or 10.9.x (Mavericks)

Dashboard Widget: Solar Eclipse Calculator

  Solar Eclipse Calculator Dashboard Widget Main Screen Preview

This widget is used to compute the local circumstances of a solar eclipse from 1970 to 2099. It is localized in English, French and Chinese. This brief overview will let you know more and download it.

Requires: MacOS X 10.4.x (Tiger), 10.5.x (Leopard), 10.6.x (Snow Leopard), 10.7.x (Lion), 10.8.x (Mountain Lion) or 10.9.x (Mavericks)

Digital solar eclipses atlas

In the next couple of months, Michael Zeiler and myself are going to offer series of digital atlases for solar eclipses as applications for iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android and Amazon (Kindle Fire) tablets. The first atlas, to be released in October 2013, will study the 2013 November 3 hybrid.
The project has taken more time, which means the first digital atlas will contain solar and lunar eclipses from 2014 to 2018, to which we’ll add the 2016 Mercury transit.

AppStore Logo Android Play Logo

Choosing your viewing site

Outside of meteorological constraints, you may also like to observe particular phenomena occurring during an eclipse.

For example choosing a location close to a farm, will enable you to witness the eclipse effects on the animal life. Don’t forget to look also at the plants.

The main choice you have to make is to choose between a location near/on the centerline or close to the edges of the path.
Consider the most colorful part of the Sun’s atmosphere: the innermost part above the Sun’s visible disc, the chromosphere. On the eclipse center line, the chromosphere is visible only for a few seconds between the disappearance of the Sun’s visible disc and the moment when the chromosphere itself disappears behind the Moon. Only during those precious few seconds, you can get a flash spectrum. However, watching from near the edges of the path, the disc of the Moon slides by the disc of the Sun for a prolonged period and the chromosphere can remain visible for 90 seconds or more. Because of the chromosphere’s rich redness, eclipse photos taken from near the path edges have more color in them than do photos from the center line. It is not just the chromosphere view that is prolonged near the path edges. The mysterious and elusive "shadow bands" are far more likely to be seen from sites near the edges, and they usually last two to five times longer than on the center line. The diamond rings and Baily’s beads will usually last up to 10 times longer. Moreover, while just a few beads may form and stay in place for centerline viewers, edge viewers can see numerous beads form and dissolve constantly; they seem to travel along the limb as the two discs glide past one another. Finally, prominences can be seen for longer.
For most total solar eclipses, as one moves off the center line by as much as 20 percent of the distance to the edge, the average duration of totality drops merely 2 percent. The true duration of totality is governed by irregularities (mountains, craters, valleys) at the Moon’s limb, so the longest eclipse may occur almost anywhere within this central 20-percent zone. Precise positioning on the center line has no real value.
The best overall views of the eclipse and related phenomena are generally seen at 95 percent of the way to the edge of the path, where the duration of totality is one-third of the centerline duration.

Eye safety recommendations

Using the proper means to protect your eyes is explained shortly here.

Solar eclipses of historical interest

Since ancient times, people have viewed the moon completely blacking out the sun for mere minutes as omens that indicate an impending miracle, the wrath of God, or the doom of a ruling dynasty. Nowadays, physicists view solar eclipses as a triumph of science with the 1919 total for example. This new section will cover these solar eclipses.

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Last page update on May 18, 2013.
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