Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000

NASA Technical Publication TP-2006-214141
by Fred Espenak and Jean Meeus

The following is a brief description of the NASA Technical Publication "Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000" (NASA/TP-2006-214141):

During the 5,000-year period from -1999 to +3000 (2000 BCE to 3000 CE), Earth will experience 11,898 eclipses of the Sun. The statistical distribution of eclipse types for this interval is as follows: 4,200 partial eclipses, 3956 annular eclipses, 3173 total eclipses, and 569 hybrid eclipses.

Detailed global maps for each of the 11,898 eclipses delineate the geographic regions of visibility for both the penumbral (partial) and umbral or antumbral (total, annular, or hybrid) phases of every event. Modern political borders are plotted to assist in the determination of eclipse visibility. The uncertainty in Earth's rotational period expressed in the parameter delta T and its impact on the geographic visibility of eclipses in the past and future is discussed.

Number of Pages: 648

Publication Date: 2006 October

The "Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000" (NASA/TP-2006-214141) is available on the web in PDF format. Since the complete document is approximately 270 MB, it has been broken up into a series of smaller files for easier downloads. The following table summarizes the contents of all 13 files composing the complete document.

Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses

Description Plates Years File Size File Name
text - - 1.5 MB 5MCSE-Text10.pdf
maps 1 to 50 -1999 to -1590 21.5 MB 5MCSE-Maps-01.pdf
maps 51 to 100 -1589 to -1164 21.8 MB 5MCSE-Maps-02.pdf
maps 101 to 150 -1164 to -0735 21.8 MB 5MCSE-Maps-03.pdf
maps 151 to 200 -0735 to -0326 21.5 MB 5MCSE-Maps-04.pdf
maps 201 to 250 -0326 to +0091 21.4 MB 5MCSE-Maps-05.pdf
maps 251 to 300 +0092 to +0524 20.8 MB 5MCSE-Maps-06.pdf
maps 301 to 350 +0525 to +0945 20.7 MB 5MCSE-Maps-07.pdf
maps 351 to 400 +0946 to +1360 21.0 MB 5MCSE-Maps-08.pdf
maps 401 to 450 +1360 to +1784 21.1 MB 5MCSE-Maps-09.pdf
maps 451 to 500 +1784 to +2213 21.2 MB 5MCSE-Maps-10.pdf
maps 501 to 550 +2214 to +2633 21.5 MB 5MCSE-Maps-11.pdf
maps 551 to 598 +2633 to +3000 19.5 MB 5MCSE-Maps-12.pdf

Supplementary Data

Supplementary data for the "Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000" is also available on the web:

The "Five Millennium Catalog of Solar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000" (NASA/TP-2008-214170), a supplemental catalog to the Canon, is also available on the web:

Five Millennium Catalog of Solar Eclipses

Catalog of Solar Eclipse Besselian elements in CSV format


The Gregorian calendar is used for all dates from 1582 Oct 15 onwards. Before that date, the Julian calendar is used. For more information on this topic, see Calendar Dates. The Julian calendar does not include the year 0. Thus the year 1 BCE is followed by the year 1 CE (See: BCE/CE Dating Conventions ). This is awkward for arithmetic calculations. Years in this catalog are numbered astronomically and include the year 0. Historians should note there is a difference of one year between astronomical dates and BCE dates. Thus, the astronomical year 0 corresponds to 1 BCE, and astronomical year -1 corresponds to 2 BCE, etc..


The coordinates of the Sun used in these predictions are based on the VSOP87 theory [Bretagnon and Francou, 1988]. The Moon's coordinates are based on the ELP-2000/82 theory [Chapront-Touze and Chapront, 1983]. For more information, see: Solar and Lunar Ephemerides. The revised value used for the Moon's secular acceleration is n-dot = -25.858 arc-sec/cy*cy, as deduced from the Apollo lunar laser ranging experiment (Chapront, Chapront-Touze, and Francou, 2002).

The largest uncertainty in the eclipse predictions is caused by fluctuations in Earth's rotation due primarily to tidal friction of the Moon. The resultant drift in apparent clock time is expressed as ΔT and is determined as follows:

  1. pre-1950's: ΔT calculated from empirical fits to historical records derived by Morrison and Stephenson (2004)
  2. 1955-present: ΔT obtained from published observations
  3. future: ΔT is extrapolated from current values weighted by the long term trend from tidal effects

A series of polynomial expressions have been derived to simplify the evaluation of ΔT for any time from -1999 to +3000. The uncertainty in ΔT over this period can be estimated from scatter in the measurements.

Permission is freely granted to reproduce any portion of this NASA Reference Publication. All uses and/or publication of this material should be accompanied by an appropriate acknowledgment of the source.

2011 Jun 15