Tracing the 2017 Solar Eclipse
When depicting an eclipse path, data visualizers have usually chosen to represent the moon's shadow as an oval. By bringing in a variety of NASA data sets, visualizer Ernie Wright has created a new and more accurate representation of the eclipse. For the first time, we are able to see that the moon's shadow is better represented as a polygon. This more complicated shape is based NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's view of the mountains and valleys that form the moon's jagged edge. By combining moon's terrain, heights of land forms on Earth, and the angle of the sun, Wright is able to show the eclipse path with the greatest accuracy to date.
The 2017 Path of Totality Read more about this map
The 2017 Path of Totality: Oblique View Read more about this map
This animation closely follows the Moon's umbra shadow as it passes over the United States during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. Through the use of a number of NASA datasets, notably the global elevation maps from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the shape and location of the shadow is depicted with unprecedented accuracy.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
SeriesThis visualization can be found in the following series:
Datasets used in this visualization
SRTM DEMID: 481Collected with SIR-C
Terra and Aqua BMNG (Blue Marble: Next Generation)ID: 508Collected with MODIS
Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).
This dataset can be found at: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/BlueMarble/See all pages that use this dataset
LRO DEM (Digital Elevation Map)ID: 653Collected with LOLA
DE421 (JPL DE421)ID: 752Ephemeris NASA/JPL
LRO/SELENE SLDEM2015 (DIgital Elevation Model)ID: 948Model Collected with LOLA/TC
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.