Eclipse Banner

Yellow Bar

Total Solar Eclipse of 1999 August 11

History of Saros 145

Yellow Bar

The total eclipse of 1999 August 11 is the twenty-first member of Saros series 145 (Table 37), as defined by van den Bergh [1955]. All eclipses in the series occur at the Moon's ascending node and gamma1 decreases with each member in the family. The series is a young one which began with a minuscule partial eclipse at high northern hemisphere latitudes on 1639 Jan 04. After fourteen partial eclipses each of increasing magnitude, the first central eclipse occurred on 1891 Jun 06. The event was a six second annular eclipse with a path sweeping through eastern Siberia and the Arctic Ocean. Although the vertex of the umbral shadow fell just short of Earth's surface, the Moon's distance was gradually decreasing with each subsequent eclipse in the series. In fact, the very next eclipse was a hybrid or annular/total eclipse on 1909 Jun 17. Greatest eclipse occurred in the Arctic Ocean and lasted 24 seconds.

The third central eclipse of Saros 145 occurred on 1927 Jun 29. It was the first total eclipse of the family and coincidentally passed through England in addition to Scandinavia and Siberia. On 1945 Jul 09, the path of totality began in Idaho and quickly swept northeast through Montana, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. After crossing Hudson Bay, Greenland and the North Atlantic, the umbra returned to Scandinavia and Siberia. The fifth central eclipse occurred on 1963 Jul 20 and is well known to many eclipse observers. Its path crossed Alaska, central and eastern Canada and Maine. The event drew a great deal of media attention and a beautiful article about the eclipse appeared months later in the pages of National Geographic [November 1963]. In fact, one of the authors (Espenak) has fond memories of watching the partial phases of this eclipse as a boy from his grandmother's home in Long Island.

The most recent eclipse of the series took place on 1981 Jul 31 and its path crossed central Siberia, Sakhalin Island and the Pacific Ocean where it ended north of Hawaii. After 1999, the following member occurs on 2017 Aug 21. This is the first total solar eclipse visible from the continental United States since 1979 Feb 26. The path of totality stretches from Oregon through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas and has a greatest duration of 2m 40s (Map of Eclipses in North America - 2001 - 2050).

During the 21st through 24th centuries, Saros 145 continues to produce total solar eclipses of increasing duration as the path of each event shifts southward. By the time the midpoint of the series is reached (2324 Feb 25), the duration of totality exceeds four minutes. The duration continues to increase into the 25th and 26th centuries. The maximum duration of totality peaks at 7m 12s on 2522 Jun 25. In the remaining six umbral eclipses, the duration rapidly drops but still lasts almost three minutes during the final total eclipse on 2648 Sep 09.

For the next three and a half centuries, twenty partial eclipses of progressively decreasing magnitude occur. The final event takes place on 3009 Apr 17 from the polar regions of the Southern Hemisphere. A detailed list of eclipses in Saros series 145 appears in Table 37.

In summary, Saros series 145 includes 77 eclipses with the following distribution:

            Saros 145    Partial   Annular   Ann/Total   Total

          Non-Central      34         0         0          0
            Central         -         1         1         41

Yellow Bar

1 Minimum distance of the Moon's shadow axis from Earth's center in units of equatorial Earth radii.
Gamma defines the instant of greatest eclipse and takes on negative values south of the Earth's center.

Yellow Bar

Adapted from NASA RP 1398 "Total Solar Eclipse of 1999 August 11".

Yellow Bar

Return to 1999 Eclipse Home Page

Yellow Bar

NASA logo
WebMaster: Fred Espenak
Planetary Systems Branch - Code 693

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771 USA

Yellow Bar

Last revised: 1997 April 16 - F. Espenak