SANTA FE, N.M., June 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This flyover animation video simulates the view from a spacecraft 100 miles high chasing the Moon’s shadow during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.
The dark oval represents where totality will be seen at that moment. The time of eclipse is given in the local time zone. The duration is the maximum at the center of the Moon’s shadow. Places near the centerline receive the longest duration, because the time between the shadow edge arriving and leaving is the longest in the center of the shadow.
The Moon’s shadow reflects the true shape of the Moon as influenced by the many craters and mountains on the lunar limb. Also, the shadow is shown correctly draped on Earth’s topography which you can see in mountainous areas. We used detailed terrain data from the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to make these calculations. Because of the increasing angle as the shadow moves across North America, the speed of the Moon’s shadow increases significantly, from about 1560 mph to nearly 5000 mph at Newfoundland.
The path narrows throughout North America because after the Moon’s shadow meets the point of greatest eclipse near Nazas, Mexico, the distance from the Moon to the Earth becomes slightly longer. While the path is narrowing, the shadow is also intercepting the Earth’s surface at an increasingly oblique angle. This oblique angle lengthens the shadow along the direction of the path. So this results in the shadow becoming narrower as the eclipse moves from Texas to Newfoundland while also elongating the shape of the shadow.
To see the full glory of a total solar eclipse, when daylight suddenly darkens and the beautiful corona of the Sun becomes visible, people must be inside the inner shadow of the Moon (called the umbra). Even if people are in the zone of 99% partial solar eclipse, they will experience 0% total solar eclipse. Being inside the path is essential to view totality.
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SOURCE Great American Eclipse