Total Solar Eclipse of 2008 Aug 01

Google Maps and Solar Eclipse Paths

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This interactive Google map [1] shows the path of the Total Solar Eclipse of 2008 Aug 01 . The northern and southern path limits are blue and the central line is red. You MUST be somewhere within the central path (between the blue lines) to see the total phase of the eclipse. The eclipse is longest on the central line (red). The yellow lines crossing the path indicate the time and position of maximum eclipse at 10-minute intervals.

The green marker labeled GE is the point of Greatest Eclipse. The magenta marker labeled GD is the point of Greatest Duration. This is the location where the total eclipse lasts the longest along the entire path. In this case, the Greatest Duration is 02m27.2s . This prediction does not take into account the mountains and valleys along the edge of the Moon. For the sake of speed and simplicity, the effects of the lunar limb profile are NOT used in the predictions and map presented on this page.

You can be hundreds of miles from the theoretical point of Greatest Duration and still enjoy totality lasting within a fraction of a second of the maximum possible (as long as you stay within several miles of the central line). It's much more important to watch the weather forecasts a day or two before the eclipse and choose a location with the best chance of a cloud-free sky during the eclipse. Good weather is the key to successful eclipse viewing - better to see a shorter eclipse from clear sky that a longer eclipse under clouds [2].

User Directions

The zoom bar (left edge of map) is used to change the magnification [3]. The four-way toggle arrows (upper left corner) are for navigating around the map. You can also move the map center around to reposition it by holding down the left mouse button and dragging. The two map buttons (top right) let you switch between map view and satellite view.

Click anywhere on the map to add a red marker. A popup window appears above the marker with the calculated eclipse times and duration of totality for that location (see explanation of Eclipse Circumstances below). The 'x' in the upper right corner of the popup window closes the popup window. Additional markers can be placed anywhere on the map. Move the cursor over a marker to reveal a popup window with the eclipse times for that position. The predictions in the popup window can also be displayed in a new web page via the Eclipse Times Popup button (bottom right). You can select and copy this infomation to paste into a word processor.

All the markers can be removed by using the Clear Marker button (below the map). Choose the Large Map check box to produce a bigger map (hint: enlarge the browser window to its maximum size before selecting the Large Map check box). This option is especially useful to users with large monitors.

Below the lower left corner of the map are three readouts. The first gives the geographic coordinates (latitude & longitude) of the map center while the second gives the geographic coordinates of the cursor position. The third line gives the distance of the cursor from the last marker. For more information, see Google Eclipse Map Instructions.

Eclipse Circumstances

When you click on the map a red marker is added and a popup window opens giving the Eclipse Circumstances calculated for that location. The predictions in the popup window can be divided into two sections.

In the top section, the decimal Latitude and Longitude of the marker are given. The Eclipse Type (either total, annular or partial) seen from that position is given. The Duration of Totality (or Duration of Annularity) lists the length of the total (or annular) phase in minutes and seconds. The Eclipse Magnitude is the fraction of the Sun's diameter eclipsed. The Eclipse Obscuration is the fraction of the Sun's area eclipsed.

The bottom section consists of a table listing the times for important stages of the eclipse. The Event column lists eclipse phase, followed by the date and time (both in Universal Time). Finally, the Altitude and Azimuth of the Sun is given for each event. The altitude is measured from the horizon (0°) to the zenith (90°). The azimuth is measured from due North and rotating eastward (North = 0°, East = 90°, South = 180°, and West = 270°).

Important Note: The eclipse predictions in this interactive map DO NOT include the effects of mountains and valleys along the edge of the Moon. Such corrections for the lunar limb profile may change the contact times and eclipse durations by ~1-3 seconds. The exact location of Greatest Duration may also change by ~10-20 kilometers.


1. Other interactive Google eclipse maps include those by Xavier Jubier.

2. An excellent source for weather prospects for upcoming eclipses is meteorologist Jay Anderson's Eclipse Weather Page.

3. This web page approximates the curved eclipse path by using a series or To maintain the validity of this approximation, the maximum zoom level is limited to ~1 mile/inch (~0.7 kilometers/centimeter). This should prevent over-interpretation of the eclipse path accuracy. You can disable the zoom limit using the link Maximum Zoom to reload the map.

Links for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2008 Aug 01

Eclipse Predictions

Predictions for the Total Solar Eclipse of 2008 Aug 01 were generated using the VSOP87/ELP2000-85 solar and lunar ephemerides and a value of ΔT = 65.6 seconds.

The eclipse predictions presented here DO NOT include the effects of mountains and valleys along the edge of the Moon. Such corrections for the lunar limb profile may shift the limits of the eclipse path north or south by ~1-3 kilometers, and change the eclipse duration by ~1-3 seconds. More detailed predictions including the effects of the lunar limb profile are normally posted 12-18 months before each eclipse,


All eclipse calculations are by Fred Espenak, and he assumes full responsibility for their accuracy. 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

Please visit the Acknowledgments Page for additional acknowledgments, details and links.

More Solar Eclipse Links

2014 Mar 14