Detailed Maps of the Umbral Path
The path of totality is plotted on a series detailed maps appearing in Figures 5 through 11
(Africa) and Figures 14 through 17 (Australia). The maps were chosen to isolate small
regions along the entire land
portion of the eclipse path. Curves of maximum eclipse are plotted at one or two minute intervals along the
track and labeled with the center line duration of totality and the Sun's altitude. The maps are constructed
from the Digital Chart of the World (DCW), a digital database of the world developed by the U. S. Defense
Mapping Agency (DMA). The primary sources of information for the geographic database are the
Operational Navigation Charts (ONC) and the Jet Navigation Charts (JNC) developed by the DMA.
The 1:2,000,000 scale of the eclipse maps is adequate for showing roads, villages and cities,
required for eclipse expedition planning. Caution should be employed in using the maps since no distinction
is made between major highways and second class soft-surface roads. Those who require more detailed maps
of the eclipse track should plot the coordinates from Tables 7-9 on larger scale maps.
The DCW database was assembled in the 1980s and contains names of places that are no longer
used in some parts of Africa, particularly Zimbabwe. Where possible, modern names have been substituted
for those in the database but this correction could not be applied to all sites. Some areas of missing
topographic data appear as blank or white rectangles on the map background.
Northern and southern limits as well as the center line of the path are plotted using data from
Tables 7 and 8. Although no corrections have been
made for center of figure or lunar limb profile, they have
little or no effect at this scale. Atmospheric refraction has not been included, as it plays a significant role
only at very low solar altitudes . In any case, refraction corrections to the path are uncertain since they
depend on the atmospheric temperature-pressure profile, which cannot be predicted in advance. If
observations from the graze zones are planned, then the zones of grazing eclipse must be plotted on higher
scale maps using coordinates in Table 9. See
PLOTTING THE PATH ON MAPS for sources and more
information. The paths also show the curves of maximum eclipse at two-minute increments in UT. These
maps are also available on the web at Fred Espenak's
excellent eclipse site).
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