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Press Release

Annular Solar Eclipse of 2002 June 10

Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC

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The Annular Eclipse
The Partial Eclipse from the USA and Canada
What will the Eclipse look like from your City?
Future Eclipses and Eclipse Frequency
Live Web Coverage of the Eclipse
Eclipse Resources on the Web

On June 10th, an eclipse1 of the Sun will be visible from eastern Asia, the Pacific Ocean and much of North America. From some locations, more than 99% of the Sun's disk will be hidden by the Moon. The eclipse will be partial for most observers throughtout this region including the United States (except the East Coast), Canada, and Mexico. A global map of Earth shows the exact region of eclipse visibility (outlined in red). This global map is also available in Medium Resolution and High Resolution versions.

The Annular Eclipse

This eclipse is actually a special kind of partial eclipse called an annular eclipse. During an annular eclipse, the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun but is unable to completely cover it because the Moon's disk appears smaller than the Sun. The annular phase of the eclipse can only be seen from a very narrow track called the path of annularity. Although June's annular path is nearly 14,000 kilometers long, it is only 13 to 78 kilometers wide. The path of annularity is plotted in blue on the global map of the eclipse (also available in Medium and High resolution).

From Asia and the western Pacific, the eclipse actually occurs on June 11 because of the International Date Line. The annular path begins at 20:53 UT2 along the north coast of Sulawesi. Racing across the Celebes Sea, the antumbra3 engulfs the Indonesian islands of Pulau Sangihe and Kepulauan Talaud. The annular phase lasts just over one minute with the early morning Sun 6° above the horizon.

Leaving Indonesia, the shadow's trajectory takes it over a long track across the Pacific. As it does so, the curvature of Earth's surface causes the path width and central duration to gradually decrease. The antumbra reaches the southern end of the Northern Mariana Islands chain at 22:10 UT. Guam lies just 40 kilometers south of the 47 kilometer wide path and will experience a deep partial eclipse of magnitude4 0.975. About 180 kilometers northeast of Guam, the islands Saipan and Tinian span the northern limit of the annular track. Tinian's southern tip extends a dozen kilometers into the path but still falls 10 kilometers short of the centerline 5. Nevertheless, most of the 53 second long annular phase of magnitude 0.988 will be seen from this location with the Sun 32° above the horizon.

From this point on, the antumbra encounters no other populated islands across the Pacific. Greatest eclipse6 occurs at 23:48:15 UT about 2600 kilometers northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. The duration of the annular phase lasts a scant 23 seconds, but the event takes place in open ocean with no landfall in sight.

As the track begins to swing to the southeast, its width and central duration begin to increase once again but no other islands lie in its path. Just before reaching its terminus, the antumbra passes 50 kilometers south of the southern tip of Baja, Mexico at 01:32 UT. In the final seconds of its earthbound trajectory, the shadow reaches the Pacific coast of Mexico, 30 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta. Under favorable weather conditions, observers on the centerline will witness a spectacular ring of fire on the horizon as the Sun sets just after annularity. The central duration is 1 minute 7 seconds and the magnitude is 0.981. Atmospheric refraction will actually displace the end of the path to the southeast so that the entire annular phase will occur before sunset for observes on or near the coast.

The antumbral shadow leaves Earth's surface at 01:35 UT. Over the course of 3 hours and 47 minutes, the Moon's antumbra travels along a path approximately 14,700 kilometers long and covering 0.2% of Earth's surface area. Path coordinates and centerline circumstances are presented in Table 1.

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1 An eclipse of the Sun can only take place at New Moon, and only if the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth. Under these conditions, the Moon's shadow sweeps across a portion of Earth's surface and an eclipse of the Sun is seen from that region. For more information on the what, why, how, when and where of solar eclipses, see the special web site solar eclipses for beginners.

2 UT or Universal Time is the time system that astronomers use to describe and measure astronomical events like eclipses. UT is often referred to colloquially, as "Greenwich Mean Time" (GMT). For more information, see web sites for Universal Time and for World Time Scales.

3 The antumba is that portion of the Moon's shadow from which an annular eclipse is visible.

4 Eclipse magnitude is used to describe the fraction of the Sun's diameter covered by the Moon. For exaample, if one third of the Sun's diameter is hidden by the Moon, then the eclipse magnitude is 0.33 or 33%.

5 The centerline is the midpoint between the northern and southern limits of the annular eclipse path. The annular phase lasts longest on the centerline while the duration drops to zero on the actual limits.

6 Greatest eclipse is the instant when the axis of the Moon's shadow passes closest to the center of the Earth. In other words, this is when the Moon blocks most of the Earth as seen from the Sun.

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Solar Eclipse from USA

This map shows the regions of visibility of the solar eclipse of 2002 June 10. Most of the United States will see a partial eclipse (no eclipse seen from the East Coast). The eclipse magnitude (fraction of the Sun's diameter covered by the Moon) varies from 20% in the Great Lakes region to 80% in southern California. Eclipse magnitude curves labeled 20% through 80% (accompanied by thumbnail eclipse diagrams) and can be used to estimate the degree of the eclipse from any part of the country. In the south and central U.S., sunset will occur while the eclipse is still in progress making for a memorable sight. This is the last solar eclipse visible from the U.S. until 2005

This map is also available in Medium Resolution and High Resolution versions.

The Partial Eclipse from the USA and Canada

Outside of the narrow annular path, a partial eclipse will be seen from a much larger geographic area. The zone of partial eclipse extends approximately 4000 kilometers north and south of the annular path and includes much of North America (except the East Coast). The global map of Earth shows the exact region of eclipse visibility which is outlined in red (also available in Medium and High resolution). For North Americans, the eclipse magnitude4 increases as you travel in a southwestern direction.

From Montana, the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, the eclipse magnitude ranges from around 0.2 to 0.4 (20% to 40%). In comparison, most of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas will see an eclipse with a magnitude of 0.4 to 0.6 (40% to 60%). The increasing trend continues as you travel in a southwestern direction. California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas will witness an eclipse magnitude of 0.6 to 0.8 (60% to 80%). Among the 48 contiguous states, southern California will see the greatest eclipse of some 80%.

Alaskan's will also catch the eclipse. The magnitude varies from about 0.1 to 0.5 (10% to 50%) with the largest values seen from the Aleutian Islands. Midway across the Pacific, the Hawaiian Islands will also get approximately a 0.5 (50%) magnitude eclipse.

Most of Canada will see an eclipse whose magnitude varies from about 0.05 (5%) in Montreal to 0.4 (40%) in Vancouver. No eclipse will be seen from the Atlantic Provinces.

The partial eclipse takes place in the mid to late afternoon across the USA. For observers along a line from Houston, St. Louis, Chicago and Detroit, they will witness maximum eclipse just about the same time that the Sun sets. In fact, the eclipse will still be in progress from much of the central and southern USA during sunset making for a memorable sight. The northwestern USA was treated to a similar sunset eclipse on 2000 July 30 .

Extreme care must be taken when watching the solar eclipse. You should visit a web site which discusses a number of ways to Safely View the Eclipse. The eclipse itself is no more dangerous to view than the Sun is on any other day. The only difference is that human curiosity impels some people to stare directly at the Sun during an eclipse and this is can cause permanent damage to your eyesight. Never look directly at the Sun with the naked eye or through any optical device (e.g. - camera, binoculars or telescope). There are a several types of Solar Filters designed specifically for Sun viewing which are available from a number of filter manufacturers and distributors. You can also use the pinhole projection method to safely watch the eclipse.

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Solar Eclipse from San Deigo, CA

The diagram above shows what the 2002 June 10 solar eclipse will look like from San Diego, CA.
The times of the start, maximum and end of the eclipse are given for Pacific Standard Time.
(add one hour for Daylight Saving Time).
Eclipse times and diagrams for many other cities are found in the links below.

What will the Eclipse look like from your City?

What will the eclipse look like and when does it begin and end? That all depends on your city or geographic location. You can see a graphic preview for a number of cities by visiting one of several special web pages and graphics prepared for the 2002 solar eclipse. Just got to the table for your country of geographic area, find your city in the table and click on it to see an eclipse diagram:

Solar Eclipse From the USA

Solar Eclipse From the Canada

Solar Eclipse From the Mexico

Solar Eclipse From Asia and the Pacific

Each of the above links takes you to a table of cities listed in alphabetical order (by state in the USA). The table gives a brief summary of the eclipse circumstances as seen at each city and includes the times of start, maximum and end of the eclipse, the magnitude, the altitude of the Sun and the duration of the eclipse. As you click on the name of each city, you will see a figure illustrating the eclipse's appearance at maximum eclipse. A brief table lists the the eclipse times as well as other details about the eclipse.

An eclipse of the Sun presents a tempting target to photograph. Fortunately, solar eclipse photography is easy provided that you have the right equipment and use it correctly. Please remembr that you should never look directly at the Sun without practicing Safe Eclipse Viewing Techniques and/or use an approved solar filter!

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Future Eclipses and Eclipse Frequency

The NASA Five Millennium Catalog of Solar Eclipses lists the date and circumstances for every eclipse from 2,000 BC through 3,000 AD. During this period, there are 11,897 eclipses of the Sun (including partial, annular and total). Slightly more than one third of these are partial eclipses, on third are annular eclipses and just over one quarter are total eclipses.

There are at least two solar eclipses every year although they may both be partial eclipses. On exrtremely rare occassions, there can be as many as five solar eclipses in one calendar year (e.g. - 1936 and 2207).

The table below lists every solar eclipse from 2001 through 2006. Click on the eclipse Date to see a map of an eclipse. Click on the Region of Eclipse Visibility to see a detailed description of an eclipse.

The Eclipse Magnitude is the fraction on the Sun's diameter obscurred at maximum eclipse. For values greater than 1.0, it is a total eclipse. For values less than 1.0, it is either a partial or annular eclipse. The Center Duration is the duration of either the total or annular phase (if any).

Geographic Region of
Eclipse Visibility
2001 Jun 21 Total 1.050 04m57s e S. America, Africa
[Total: s Atlantic, s Africa, Madagascar]
2001 Dec 14 Annular 0.968 03m53s N. & C. America, nw S. America
[Annular: c Pacific, Costa Rica]
2002 Jun 10 Annular 0.996 00m23s e Asia, Australia, w N. America
[Annular: n Pacific, w Mexico]
2002 Dec 04 Total 1.024 02m04s s Africa, Antarctica, Indonesia, Australia
[Total: s Africa, s Indian, s Australia]
2003 May 31 Annular 0.938 03m37s Europe, Asia, nw N. America
[Annular: Iceland, Greenland]
2003 Nov 23 Total 1.038 01m57s Australia, N. Z., Antarctica, s S. America
[Total: Antarctica]
2004 Apr 19 Partial 0.736 - Antarctica, s Africa
2004 Oct 14 Partial 0.927 - ne Asia, Hawaii, Alaska
2005 Apr 08 Hybrid 1.007 00m42s N. Zealand, N. & S. America
[Hybrid: s Pacific, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela]
2005 Oct 03 Annular 0.958 04m32s Europe, Africa, s Asia
[Annular: Portugal, Spain, Libia, Sudan, Kenya]
2006 Mar 29 Total 1.052 04m07s Africa, Europe, w Asia
[Total: c Africa, Turkey, Russia]
2006 Sep 22 Annular 0.935 07m09s S. America, w Africa, Antarctica
[Annular: Guyana, Suriname, F. Guiana, s Atlantic]

Geographic abreviations: n = north, s = south, e = east, w = west, c = central

Live Web Coverage of the Eclipse

We will list links for live web coverage of the eclipse as they become available.

Web Resources


All eclipse calculations are by Fred Espenak, and he assumes full responsibility for their accuracy. Some of the information presented in this catalog is based on data originally published in Fifty Year Canon of Solar Eclipses: 1986 - 2035.

Permission is freely granted to reproduce this data when accompanied by the following acknowledgment:

"Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC"

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Last revised: 2003 Aug 19 - F. Espenak