The 2023 Annular Solar Eclipse

  • Released Monday, July 10th, 2023
  • Updated Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 12:20AM
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This map illustrates the paths of the Moon’s shadow across the U.S. during the 2023 annular solar eclipse. On October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will cross North, Central, and South America creating a path of annularity. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth while at its farthest point from Earth. Because the Moon is farther away from Earth, it does not completely block the Sun. This will create a “ring of fire” effect in the sky for those standing in the path of annularity.

Making the Map

This map uses datasets from several NASA missions. The eclipse data were calculated by visualizer Ernie Wright using elevation information from SRTM, lunar topography from LRO, and planetary positions from the JPL DE421 ephemeris. The lead visualizer, Michala Garrison, used Earth imagery from NASA’s Blue Marble Next Generation to create the terrain map.

Reading the Map

The dark path across the map is where the largest area of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. People in these paths will experience an annular solar eclipse. Inside the dark eclipse path are irregular ovals that delineate the Moon’s shadow on the Earth’s surface. For an annular solar eclipse, these ovals are called the antumbra and together make up the path of annularity. On the map, the ovals contain times inside corresponding to the shape of the Moon’s shadow cast at that time during the eclipse.

Also within the dark paths are duration contours. These delineate the length of time annularity will last. The closer to the center of the solar eclipse path, the longer it will last. For the annular path, times range from a few seconds on the outer edge to a maximum of around 4.5 minutes in the center.

Outside the eclipse path, the map displays contours of obscuration, or percentage of the Sun’s area covered by the Moon. Readers can trace the lines to percentages printed along all sides of the map that range from 85% to 10% obscuration. The dark path marks when 90% obscuration begins.

Download Eclipse Data

2023 Annular Eclipse Data: 2023eclipse_shapefiles.zip

The .zip file above contains the following files:

  • center.shp A high-resolution polyline tracing the path of the shadow center. Region limited.

  • duration.shp Isocontours of maximum annular duration, at 30-second intervals.

  • ppath.shp “Penumbra path,” contours of maximum partial obscuration (area of the Sun covered by the Moon) at 5% intervals.

  • ppath01.shp “Penumbra path,” contours of maximum partial obscuration (area of the Sun covered by the Moon) at 1% intervals.

  • umbra_hi.shp High resolution antumbra polygons, at 1-second intervals. Region limited.

  • umbra_lo.shp Lower resolution antumbra polygons, at 10-second intervals. Global.

  • upath_hi.shp High resolution path shape. Region limited.

  • upath_lo.shp Lower resolution path shape. Global.

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Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio


Datasets used in this visualization

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.