The Path of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

I thought I’d share this nice NASA video showing the path of totality of the solar eclipse which will take place on 21st August 2017. This is he determined by the changing position of the shadow cast on the Earth’s surface by the Moon as the Earth rotates beneath it. As you can see the shadow will cross the United States of America from Oregon in the North West to South Carolina in the South East. It even passes over Kansas City on the way, so this promises to be a phenomenon that very many people will experience and enjoy.

Eclipses are not particularly rare: there are at least two every year, but most of these are partial rather than total and it is less common for totality to be witnessed from highly populated areas.

For much more information about the 2017 total eclipse of the sun, see the NASA page here.

6 Responses to “The Path of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse”

  1. What’s up with the corners in the shadow?

    • telescoper Says:


      • To a good approximation, and within the resolution of the video, the shadow should be an ellipse, right? It is clearly not in the images in the video. At the beginning of the video one can easily see a prominent corner at the 10-o’clock position.

  2. Re “corners”: explains the lunar and terrestrial topography that was used to generate precise (and hence non-elliptical) umbral shapes.

    Besides which is a better link for the NASA visualization than that link, whose authors do have a nasty habit of not including links to the original sources of news releases lightly rewritten.

    • I realize that they are not precise ellipses, but when the shadow is on the plains, so the topography on Earth is essentially flat, there is still a “corner” on the shadow of the Moon which is so prominent that it should be visible when looking at the Moon in the sky.

  3. This is going to be a crazy event! Just the picture alone shows how small the path of totality is. There is going to be a ton of people on the line when the eclipse is happening. Where are you guys staying?

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