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annular eclipse - A solar eclipse in which the Moon's antumbral shadow traverses Earth (the Moon is too far from Earth to completely cover the Sun). During the maximum phase of an annular eclipse, the Sun appears as a blindingly bright ring surrounding the Moon.


annularity - The maximum phase of an annular eclipse during which the Moon's entire disk is seen silhouetted against the Sun. Annularity is the period between second and third contact during an annular eclipse. It can last from a fraction of a second to a maximum of 12 minutes 29 seconds.


antumbra - The antumbra is that part of the Moon's shadow that extends beyond the umbra. It is similar to the penumbra in that the Sun is only partially blocked by the Moon. From within the antumbra, the Sun appears larger than the Moon which is seen in complete silhouette. An annular eclipse is seen when an observer passes through the antumbra.


central eclipse - A solar eclipse in which the central axis of the Moon’s shadow cone traverses Earth thereby producing a central line in the eclipse track. The umbra or antumbra falls entirely upon Earth so the ground track has both a northern and southern limit. Central solar eclipses can be either total, annular or hybrid.


central eclipse (one limit) - A solar eclipse in which the central axis of the Moon’s shadow cone traverses Earth. However, a portion of the umbra or antumbra misses Earth throughout the eclipse and the resulting ground track has just one limit. Central solar eclipses with one limit can be either total, annular or hybrid.


eclipse magnitude - Eclipse magnitude is the fraction of the Sun’s diameter occulted by the Moon. It is strictly a ratio of diameters and should not be confused with eclipse obscuration, which is a measure of the Sun’s surface area occulted by the Moon. Eclipse magnitude may be expressed as either a percentage or a decimal fraction (e.g., 50% or 0.50). By convention, its value is given at the instant of greatest eclipse.


eclipse obscuration - Eclipse obscuration is the fraction of the Sun’s area occulted by the Moon. It should not be confused with eclipse magnitude, which is the fraction of the Sun’s diameter occulted by the Moon. Eclipse obscuration may be expressed as either a percentage or a decimal fraction (e.g., 50% or 0.50).


eye safety - The only time that the Sun can be viewed safely with the naked eye is during a total eclipse, when the Moon completely covers the disk of the Sun. It is never safe to look at a partial or annular eclipse, or the partial phases of a total solar eclipse, without the proper equipment and techniques. Even when 99% of the Sun's surface (the photosphere) is obscured during the partial phases of a solar eclipse, the remaining crescent Sun is still intense enough to cause permanent retinal damage, especially when viewed through binoculars or other optical aids.


first contact - The instant when the partial phase of an eclipse begins.


fourth contact - The instant when the partial phase of an eclipse ends.


gamma - Gamma is the distance of the Moon’s shadow axis from Earth’s center in units of equatorial Earth radii. It is defined at the instant of greatest eclipse when its absolute value is at a minimum.


greatest eclipse - Greatest eclipse is defined as the instant when the axis of the Moon's shadow cone passes closest to Earth's center. For total eclipses, the instant of greatest eclipse is virtually identical to the instants of greatest magnitude and greatest duration. However, for annular eclipses, the instant of greatest duration may occur at either the time of greatest eclipse or near the sunrise and sunset points of the eclipse path.


hybrid eclipse - A solar eclipse in which the Moon's umbral and antumbral shadows traverse Earth (the eclipse appears annular and total along different sections of its path). Hybrid eclipses are also known as annular-total eclipses. In most cases, hybrid eclipses begin as annular, transform into total, and then revert back to annular before the end of their track. In rare instances, a hybrid eclipse may begin annular and end total, or vice versa.


non-central eclipse (one limit) - A solar eclipse in which the central axis of the Moon’s shadow cone misses Earth. However, one edge of the umbra or antumbra grazes Earth thereby producing a ground track with one limit and no central line. Non-central solar eclipses can be either total, annular or hybrid. (Partial eclipses can also be considered non-central eclipses in which only the penumbral shadow traverses Earth's surface)


partial eclipse - A solar eclipse in which the Moon's penumbral shadow traverses Earth (umbral and antumbral shadows completely miss Earth). During a partial eclipse, the Moon appears to block part (but not all) of the Sun's disk. From the prospective of an individual observer, a partial eclipse is one in which the observer is within the penumbral shadow but outside the path of the umbral or antumbral shadows.


penumbra - The penumbra is the weak or pale part of the Moon's shadow. From within the penumbra, the Sun is only partially blocked by the Moon as in the case of a partial eclipse. This contrasts with the umbra, where the Sun is completely blocked resulting in a total eclipse.


saros - The periodicity and recurrence of solar (and lunar) eclipses is governed by the Saros cycle, a period of approximately 6,585.3d (18yr 11d 8h). When two eclipses are separated by a period of one Saros, they share a very similar geometry. The eclipses occur at the same node with the Moon at nearly the same distance from Earth and at the same time of year. Thus, the Saros is a useful tool for organizing eclipses into families or series. Each series typically lasts 12 or 13 centuries and contains 70 or more eclipses. For more information, see Eclipses and the Saros. The Saros Catalog of Solar Eclipses: Saros 0 - 180 provides complete details for all current Saros cycles.


second contact - The instant when the total or annular phase of an eclipse begins.


third contact - The instant when the total or annular phase of an eclipse ends.


total eclipse - A solar eclipse in which the Moon's umbral shadow traverses Earth (Moon is close enough to Earth to completely cover the Sun). During the maximum phase of a total eclipse, the Sun's disk is completely blocked Moon. The Sun's faint corona is then safely revealed to the naked eye.


totality - The maximum phase of a total eclipse during which the Moon's disk completely covers the Sun. Totality is the period between second and third contact during a total eclipse. It can last from a fraction of a second to a maximum of 7 minutes 32 seconds.


umbra - The umbra is the darkest part of the Moon's shadow. From within the umbra, the Sun is completely blocked by the Moon as in the case of a total eclipse. This contrasts with the penumbra, where the Sun is only partially blocked resulting in a partial eclipse.

 


Solar Eclipse Paths & Maps: 2001 - 2020

The table below is a concise summary of all total, annular and hybrid solar eclipses from 2001 through 2020 (excluding partial eclipses). The links in the table provide additional information and graphics for each eclipse. In particular, the Eclipse Type (third column) links to dynamic maps showing the central path of eclipses across Earth's surface. These interactive maps utilize NASA eclipse path predictions and the plotting capabilities of Google Maps. The northern and southern limits of each eclipse path are plotted in blue while the central line is red. The yellow lines plotted across the path indicate the position of maximum eclipse at 10-minute intervals. You can zoom into the map and turn the satelite view on or off. When you click on a position, the eclipse times and circumstances at that location are calculated and displayed.

The first column in the table gives the Calendar Date of the instant of greatest eclipse[1]. This links to an orthographic projection map of Earth showing the region of visibility for an eclipse. The path of the Moon's penumbral shadow (cyan and magenta) covers the region of partial eclipse. The track of the umbral/antumbral shadow (blue/red) defines the path of total or annular eclipse. These figures are described in greater detail in the Key to Solar Eclipse Maps. Each figure is stored as a gif of approximately 60 kilobytes.

The second column TD of Greatest Eclipse is the Terrestrial Dynamical Time when the axis of the Moon's shadow passes closest to Earth's center. Animations of the Moon's penumbral and umbral shadows across Earth are accessed by clicking the this link. Each animated GIF file is from 40 KB to 175 KB in size.

The Eclipse Type (column 3) is either Total, Annular or Hybrid[2]. The link opens a window with the central eclipse path plotted on an interactive Google Map.

The Central Eclipse Class (column 4) indicates whether an eclipse is central or non-central. The parameters N and S identify paths that have no northern or southern limit, respectively. The link opens a table containing the central path coordinates.

Eclipses recur over the Saros cycle, a period of approximately 18 years 11 days. The Saros series that an eclipse belongs to is found in column 5. All eclipses in a particular Saros series can be viewed in a table via the Saros number link.

The parameter Gamma (column 6) is the perpendicular distance of the Moon's shadow axis and Earth's center at greatest eclipse. The link opens a table containing the Besselian elements for the eclipse.

The Eclipse Magnitude[3] (column 7) gives the fraction of the Sun's diameter obscured at the instant of greatest eclipse. The Path Width (column 8) gives the width of the central eclipse path (in kilometers) at the instant of greatest eclipse. The Central Duration[4] (column 9) gives the length of the eclipse as seen from the central line at greatest eclipse.

The Key to Solar Eclipse Path Tables contains a more detailed description of each item in the table.

For more data on solar eclipses during this period, see Catalog of Solar Eclipses: 1901 to 2000.

Solar Eclipse Paths: 2001 - 2020
Calendar Date TD of Greatest Eclipse Eclipse Type Central Eclipse Class Saros Series Gamma Eclipse Magnitude Path Width (km) Central Duration
(Link to Global Map) (Link to Animation) (Link to Google Map) (Link to Path Table) (Link to Saros) (Link to Besselian Elements)
2001 Jun 21 12:04:46 Total central 127 -0.5701 1.0495 200.0 04m57s
2001 Dec 14 20:53:01 Annular central 132 0.4089 0.9681 125.6 03m53s
2002 Jun 10 23:45:22 Annular central 137 0.1993 0.9962 13.5 00m23s
2002 Dec 04 07:32:16 Total central 142 -0.3020 1.0244 87.0 02m04s
2003 May 31 04:09:22 Annular central (N) 147 0.9960 0.9384 - 03m37s
2003 Nov 23 22:50:22 Total central 152 -0.9638 1.0379 495.5 01m57s
2005 Apr 08 20:36:51 Hybrid central 129 -0.3473 1.0074 27.0 00m42s
2005 Oct 03 10:32:47 Annular central 134 0.3306 0.9576 162.2 04m32s
2006 Mar 29 10:12:23 Total central 139 0.3843 1.0515 183.5 04m07s
2006 Sep 22 11:41:16 Annular central 144 -0.4062 0.9352 261.0 07m09s
2008 Feb 07 03:56:10 Annular central 121 -0.9570 0.9650 444.5 02m12s
2008 Aug 01 10:22:12 Total central 126 0.8307 1.0394 236.9 02m27s
2009 Jan 26 07:59:45 Annular central 131 -0.2820 0.9282 280.2 07m54s
2009 Jul 22 02:36:25 Total central 136 0.0698 1.0799 258.5 06m39s
2010 Jan 15 07:07:39 Annular central 141 0.4002 0.9190 333.1 11m08s
2010 Jul 11 19:34:38 Total central 146 -0.6788 1.0580 258.6 05m20s
2012 May 20 23:53:54 Annular central 128 0.4828 0.9439 236.9 05m46s
2012 Nov 13 22:12:55 Total central 133 -0.3719 1.0500 179.0 04m02s
2013 May 10 00:26:20 Annular central 138 -0.2694 0.9544 172.6 06m03s
2013 Nov 03 12:47:36 Hybrid central (AT) 143 0.3272 1.0159 57.5 01m40s
2014 Apr 29 06:04:33 Annular non-central (S) 148 -1.0000 0.9868 - -
2015 Mar 20 09:46:47 Total central 120 0.9454 1.0445 462.5 02m47s
2016 Mar 09 01:58:19 Total central 130 0.2609 1.0450 155.1 04m09s
2016 Sep 01 09:08:02 Annular central 135 -0.3330 0.9736 99.7 03m06s
2017 Feb 26 14:54:33 Annular central 140 -0.4578 0.9922 30.6 00m44s
2017 Aug 21 18:26:40 Total central 145 0.4367 1.0306 114.7 02m40s
2019 Jul 02 19:24:07 Total central 127 -0.6466 1.0459 200.6 04m33s
2019 Dec 26 05:18:53 Annular central 132 0.4135 0.9701 117.9 03m40s
2020 Jun 21 06:41:15 Annular central 137 0.1209 0.9940 21.2 00m38s
2020 Dec 14 16:14:39 Total central 142 -0.2939 1.0254 90.2 02m10s

Central Eclipse Class abbreviations (used above):
N = no northern limit, S = no southern limit, AT = annular-total hybrid, TA = total-annular hybrid


[1] Greatest Eclipse is the instant when the distance between the Moon's shadow axis and Earth's center reaches a minimum.

[2] Hybrid eclipses are also known as annular/total eclipses. Such an eclipse is both total and annular along different sections of its umbral path.

[3] Eclipse magnitude is the fraction of the Sun's diameter obscured by the Moon. For annular eclipses, the eclipse magnitude is always less than 1. For total eclipses, the eclipse magnitude is always greater than or equal to 1. For both annular and total eclipses, the value listed is actually the ratio of diameters between the Moon and the Sun.

[4] Central Duration is the duration of a total or annular eclipse at greatest eclipse. This is the instant when the axis of the Moon's shadow passes closest to Earth's center.


Twenty Year Solar Eclipse Path Tables (w/Google Maps)

Each of the following links displays a table containing 20 years of total, annular and hybrid eclipses. Each eclipse offers links to a global map, shadow animation, interactive Google map, path coordinates table, and saros table.

Twenty Year Solar Eclipse Path Tables (w/Google Maps)
Years
1901-1920 1921-1940 1941-1960 1961-1980 1981-2000
2001-2020 2021-2040 2041-2060 2061-2080 2081-2100

Decade Tables of Solar Eclipses

Each link in the following table displays a page containing 10 years of eclipses. Every eclipse has links of global maps, interactive Google maps, animations, path coordinate tables, and saros tables.

Decade Tables of Solar Eclipses
Decades
1901-1910 1911-1920 1921-1930 1931-1940 1941-1950
1951-1960 1961-1970 1971-1980 1981-1990 1991-2000
2001-2010 2011-2020 2021-2030 2031-2040 2041-2050
2051-2060 2061-2070 2071-2080 2081-2090 2091-2100

Maps of Solar Eclipse Paths

Solar Eclipse Catalogs

Reproduction of Eclipse Data

All eclipse calculations are by Fred Espenak, and he assumes full responsibility for their accuracy. Some of the information presented on this web site is based on data originally published in:

Fifty Year Canon of Solar Eclipses: 1986 - 2035
and
Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000 (2000 BCE to 3000 CE)

Permission is freely granted to reproduce this data when accompanied by an acknowledgment:

"Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA's GSFC"

For more information, see: NASA Copyright Information

Central eclipse is often used as a generic term for a total, annular, or hybrid eclipse. This is, however, not completely correct: the definition of a central eclipse is an eclipse during which the central line of the umbra touches the Earth's surface. It is possible, though extremely rare, that part of the umbra intersects with Earth (thus creating an annular or total eclipse), but not its central line. This is then called a non-central total or annular eclipse. The next non-central solar eclipse will be on April 29, 2014. This will be an annular eclipse. The next non-central total solar eclipse will be on April 9, 2043. 

The phases observed during a total eclipse are called:
First Contact - when the moon's shadow first becomes visible on the solar disk. Some also name individual phases between First and Second Contact e.g. Pac-Man phase.
Second Contact - starting with Baily's Beads {cause by light shining through valleys on the moon's surface} and the Diamond Ring. Almost the entire disk is covered.
Totality - with the shadow of the moon obscuring the entire disk of the sun and only the corona visible
Third Contact - when the first bright light becomes visible and the shadow is moving away from the sun. Again a Diamond Ring may be observed.

 

 


There are four types of solar eclipses:

  1. A total eclipse occurs when the Sun is completely obscured by the Moon. The intensely bright disk of the Sun is replaced by the dark silhouette of the Moon, and the much fainter corona is visible. During any one eclipse, totality is visible only from at most a narrow track on the surface of the Earth.

  2. An annular eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are exactly in line, but the apparent size of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun. Hence the Sun appears as a very bright ring, or annulus, surrounding the outline of the Moon.

  3. A hybrid eclipse (also called annular/total eclipse) transitions between a total and annular eclipse. At some points on the surface of the Earth it is visible as a total eclipse, whereas at others it is annular. Hybrid eclipses are comparatively rare.

  4. A partial eclipse occurs when the Sun and Moon are not exactly in line and the Moon only partially obscures the Sun. This phenomenon can usually be seen from a large part of the Earth outside of the track of an annular or total eclipse. However, some eclipses can only be seen as a partial eclipse, because the umbra never intersects the Earth's surface, passing above the Earth's polar regions.

What is a Solar Eclipse ?

An eclipse of the sun occurs when the moon revolving in its orbit around the earth comes between the sun and the earth. The moon blocks the light of the sun and a shadow of the moon is cast over the earth's surface..

How does the moon bock the sun?

By a fortunate coincidence, the sun's diameter is 400 times larger than that of the moon, and at the same time, it is 400 times as far away. From where we are, this creates the illusion that they are the same size. If we look through a filter at the sun, it looks exactly like the moon on a full moon night. When the moon passes in front of the sun, the shadow falls on the earth and it appears to exactly cover the sun's disc. This is what a solar eclipse is - a shadow.

Is it evil to watch Solar Eclipse ?

In essence, an eclipse is no more evil than the shadow of a tree, or a tall building. The moon just blocks off the light of the sun for a brief, beautiful moment.

Where can we see this ?

During a solar eclipse, the moon actually casts two shadows towards earth. One shadow shaped like a cone is called the umbra. This becomes narrower as it reaches the earth. No direct sunlight penetrates into this area. The path of this is called the path of totality. If you are positioned in this area than you can see a complete blocking of the sun and view a total solar eclipse. Total eclipse is observable only within a narrow strip of land or sea over which the umbra passes.

The second shadow is called the penumbra which spreads out as it reaches the earth. The penumbra is spread over a large area. People viewing the eclipse from this area of the earth's surface will see only a partial blocking of the sun.