21Aug2017

Total Solar Eclipse: August 21 2017



The total solar eclipse of August 21 2017 will be spectacularly visible across to milions of people across the United States. This will be an impressive total eclipse, lasting over 2½ minutes at maximum and visible over a path up to 115 km wide.

The path starts in the Pacific well north of Hawaii at 16:48:33 UT, and then crosses to make landfall in the U.S. in the northern half of Oregon. It then crosses Idaho, Wyoming, and Nebraska, and clips the north-east corner of Kansas before passing right over Missouri. It cuts over the southern tip of Illinois and the western end of Kentucky, then crosses Tennessee and the western tip of North Carolina; the extreme north-east corner of Georgia will also be in the path of totality.

Finally, the total eclipse crosses South Carolina and passes into the Atlantic, where it runs south-east into the tropics and finally ends over open ocean at 20:02:30 UT.

The partial eclipse will be visible over the whole of North America, Central America, and the northern part of South America, between 15:46:48 UT and 21:04:20 UT. It will also just be visible in Britain and extreme western Europe at sunset.

More information on this eclipse may be found at Fred Espenak's site. You can plot the eclipse for yourself using the table of mapping co-ordinates.

The following maps show the path of the total eclipse. Please note that these maps are approximate. Check with reliable sources before making travel plans.

Protect Your Eyes!

Overview

This map shows the path of the total eclipse:

Western USA

The total eclipse makes landfall in Oregon at 17:17 UT. The line of maximum eclipse hits the coast just south of Lincoln City; the path is 99km wide here, so residents of Portland would be well advised to make the short trip south to the centreline, where the eclipse will last 1 minute 59 seconds (although getting inland away from the clouds may also be a good idea).

The eclipse then passes into Idaho and Wyoming, and enters Nebraska about 17:49. The path width is up to 110 km here, and the duration on the centreline is 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Eastern USA

The path of totality then clips the north-east corner of Kansas about 18:05 UT; it passes just north of Kansas City and crosses Missouri, where St. Louis is unluckily just north of the path. The centreline passes Bloomsdale, just south of the city, at 18:19 UT, so the residents would be well advised to make a trip south for the day to see 2 minutes and 40 seconds of total eclipse.

The path then crosses the southern end of Illinois, passing just south of Carbondale at about 18:21 UT. Seven years later, the total eclipse of April 8, 2024 crosses the same spot; part of the incredible USA eclipse bonanza.

The eclipse is very close to maximum here, and in fact reaches maximum at 18:25 UT, in western Kentucky near Princeton. At this point the total eclipse will cover a path 115 km wide, and will last over 2½ minutes on the centreline.

After maximum, the path of totality moves on southeast across Tennessee, and then clips North Carolina and Georgia before moving into South Carolina. Observers in Georgia will have to get into the very north-east corner of the state to be close to the centre of the eclipse, which will be there at 18:37 UT, with totality lasting 2 minutes 38 seconds.

The path of totality crosses South Carolina and reaches the ocean right over Charleston, at 18:49 UT. The duration of the total eclipse will still be 2 minutes 33 seconds on the centreline, so it is still a spectacular eclipse -- if the sky is clear; the path of totality is 115 km.

Hermit Eclipse Copyright (C) 1995-2005 Ian Cameron Smith.
visits since 18Aug05. Last modified: Sat Feb 18 19:06:17 GMT 2006 ($Revision: 1.6 $)