Total solar eclipse in USA on 21 August 2017


One Saros period (18 years and 10 or 11 1/3 days) after the European eclipse of 11  August 1999, a similar eclipse will take place, but this time about 120 degrees to the West. This eclipse will be visible in 14 of the United Status of America. Maximum duration is more than 2m40s near Sourthern Illinois, where the sun will be 64 degrees above the horizon. It will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the USA since 26 February 1979.

States whare the eclipse will be total are Oregon, Idaho, a little tip ofMontana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, a tip of  Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tenessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. In the rest of the USA the eclipse will be partial. This will also be the case for Canada and large parts of Latin America.

This eclipse is 99 year and a bit after the eclipse of 8 June 1918 that crossed the USA as well. It happens 1227 lunatation (New Moons) later. The 1227 lunation period is not well maintained. Usually the series only contain 2 or 3 eclipses. This one is part of a series of 4: 21 March 1819 (partial near Antartica), 8 June 1918 (total across mainland USA), 21 August 2017 (total accross mainland USA) and 4 November 2116 (partial near Anartica).

The path can be downloaded in Google Earth format. Save the file with a *.kml extension.

This total solar eclipse will take place one Saros period (18 years, 10 days and approximately 8 hours) after the European eclipse of 1999. I have calculated the paths of both eclipses. The shape is almost the same. Any differences between the 1999 and the 2017 version are partly due to the fact that this is 10 days later in the year. The position of the Earth's rotation axis as seen from the Sun is slightly different.

Source: Fred Espenak, NASA GSFC

The path of the 21 August 2017 eclipse (blue) and the central line of the 8 June 1918 total solar eclipse.

The central lines cross in Washington County, Idaho.