Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017

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Solar eclipse of August 21, 2017
Type of eclipse
Nature Total
Gamma 0.4367
Magnitude 1.0306
Maximum eclipse
Duration 2m 40s
Coordinates 37N 87.7W
Max. width of band 115 km
Times (UTC)
(P1) Partial begin 15:46:48
(U1) Total begin 16:48:32
Greatest eclipse 18:26:40
(U4) Total end 20:01:35
(P4) Partial end 21:04:19
Saros 145 (22 of 77)
Catalog # (SE5000) 9546

A total solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21, 2017. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness. Totality occurs in a narrow path across the surface of the Earth, while a partial solar eclipse will be visible over a region thousands of kilometres wide.

The eclipse will have a magnitude of 1.0306 and will be visible from a narrow corridor through the United States. The longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 40 seconds at 36°58.5′N 87°39.3′W / 36.9750°N 87.6550°W / 36.9750; -87.6550 in the Bainbridge/Sinking Fork area of Christian County, Kentucky just northwest of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.[1] This center is located on a historical farm named Orchard Dale. It will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the southeastern United States since the solar eclipse of March 7, 1970.

A partial solar eclipse will be seen from the much broader path of the Moon's penumbra, including all of North America, northern South America, western Europe, and Africa.

This eclipse is the 22nd of the 77 members of Saros series 145, the one that also produced the solar eclipse of August 11, 1999. Members of this series are increasing in duration. The longest eclipse in this series will occur on June 25, 2522 and last for 7 minutes and 12 seconds.

Related eclipses over the United States[edit]

This eclipse will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the United States since 1991 (which was seen only from part of Hawaii),[2] and the first visible from the contiguous United States since 1979.[3] A 1991 article in Discover noted that "The total solar eclipse of July 11, 1991", that passed over Hawaii and significant portions of Mexico, "[was] the best anyone will be able to see from the [US land] until 2017."[4]

The path of totality of the Solar eclipse of February 26, 1979 passed only through the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. Many visitors traveled to the Pacific Northwest to view the eclipse, since it would be the last chance to view a total solar eclipse in the United States for almost four decades.[5][6]

Climate statistics suggest that the best viewing locations will be over the Pacific Northwest. [7]

Some American scientists and interested amateurs seeking to experience a total eclipse participated in a four-day Atlantic Ocean cruise to view the Solar eclipse of July 10, 1972 as it passed near Nova Scotia. Organizers of the cruise advertised in astronomical journals and in planetarium announcements emphasizing the lack of future U.S. total eclipses until this 2017 event.[8]

The August, 2017 eclipse will be the first with a path of totality crossing the USA's Pacific coast and Atlantic coast since 1918.

The path of this eclipse crosses the upcoming path of the total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024, with the intersection of the two paths being in southern Illinois in Makanda just south of Carbondale. A small land area, including the cities of Carbondale, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and Paducah, Kentucky, will thus experience two total solar eclipses within a span of fewer than seven years.

The Solar eclipse of August 12, 2045 will have a very similar path of totality over the USA, about 250 miles to the southwest, also crossing the USA's Pacific coast and Atlantic coast; however, duration of totality will last over twice as long.[9]

An eclipse of comparable length (up to 3 minutes 8 seconds) occurred over the contiguous United States [10] on March 7, 1970 along the southeast US coast, from Florida to Virginia.


Total solar eclipse of 21 August 2017.jpg
The yellow band from Oregon to South Carolina show where the total solar eclipse may be observed. The red curves show the duration of the total solar eclipse in 10 second intervals.

Related eclipses[edit]

A partial lunar eclipse will take place on August 7, 2017.

Solar eclipses 2015–2018[edit]

Each member in a semester series of solar eclipses repeats approximately every 177 days and 4 hours (a semester) at alternating nodes of the moon's orbit.

Solar eclipse series sets from 2015–2018
Descending node   Ascending node
120 March 20, 2015
125 September 13, 2015
130 March 9, 2016
135 September 1, 2016
140 February 26, 2017
145 August 21, 2017
Solar eclipse global visibility 2017Aug21T.png
150 February 15, 2018
155 August 11, 2018
Partial solar eclipses on July 13, 2018, and January 6, 2019, occur on the next lunar year eclipse set.

Saros series 145[edit]

This solar eclipse is a part of Saros cycle 145, repeating every 18 years, 11 days, containing 77 events. The series started with partial solar eclipse on January 4, 1639, and reached a first annular eclipse on June 6, 1891. It was a hybrid event on June 17, 1909, and total eclipses from June 29, 1927 through September 9, 2648. The series ends at member 77 as a partial eclipse on April 17, 3009. The longest eclipse will occur on June 25, 2522, with a maximum duration of totality of 7 minutes, 12 seconds. [11]

Series members 16–26 occur between 1901 and 2100:

16 17 18
June 17, 1909
June 29, 1927
July 9, 1945
19 20 21
July 20, 1963
July 31, 1981
August 11, 1999
22 23 24
August 21, 2017
September 2, 2035
September 12, 2053
25 26
September 23, 2071
October 4, 2089

Metonic series[edit]

The metonic series repeats eclipses every 19 years (6939.69 days), lasting about 5 cycles. Eclipses occur in nearly the same calendar date. In addition the octon subseries repeats 1/5 of that or every 3.8 years (1387.94 days).

This series has 20 eclipse events between June 10, 1964 and August 21, 2036.

June 10–11 March 27–29 January 15–16 November 3 August 21–22
117 119 121 123 125
June 10, 1964
March 28, 1968
January 16, 1972
November 3, 1975
August 22, 1979
127 129 131 133 135
June 11, 1983
March 29, 1987
January 15, 1991
November 3, 1994
August 22, 1998
137 139 141 143 145
June 10, 2002
March 29, 2006
January 15, 2010
November 3, 2013
August 21, 2017
147 149 151 153 155
June 10, 2021
March 29, 2025
January 14, 2029
November 3, 2032
August 21, 2036


  1. ^
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "The Great Baja Eclipse", Discover January 1991. p. 90.
  5. ^ "Thousands Go West for a Total Solar Eclipse Tomorrow; Data May Aid Energy Research Partial Eclipse for New York Best Types of Film Image of Sun on Screen", The New York Times February 25, 1979. p. 26.
  6. ^ "Total Eclipse of the Sun Darkens Skies in Northwest; Total Eclipse Casts Two Minutes of Darkness in West Temperature Falls Sharply Learned of Weather Peculiarities Data on Plasma Sought", The New York Times February 27, 1979. p. A1.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Let There Be Darkness, Please; When Mercury Is at Quadrature, the Social Director Is a Lonely Man For Two Extremely Short Minutes Everyone Gaped Into the Sky", The New York Times, July 30, 1972. p. XX1
  9. ^ Google Earth Gallery for Solar and Lunar Eclipses, Xavier M. Jubier, 2011
  10. ^ Total Solar Eclipse of 1970 Mar 07, Fred Espenak
  11. ^ Espenak, Fred (Project & Website Manager), Statistics for Solar Eclipses of Saros 145, NASA, updated 2009 September 26.