Solar Eclipses 20022022

From 2002 to 2022, 46 solar eclipses will occur: 13 total, 15 annular, 2 hybrid (changing between annular and total along the track), and 16 partial. The total eclipses are the gems, and the major quest of enthusiasts, and so we concentrate upon the 15 events producing at least some period of totality.

The years 2002 and 2003 each will have one total and one annular eclipse, before 2004 has partial eclipses only. This basic

FIGURE 15-6. Lunar eclipses due between 2002 and 2022. Solid triangles represent total eclipses, open symbols are partial events. Only umbral eclipses are charted; over this period 19 penumbral eclipses will occur, but they are of little interest.


form happens to continue through these decades: a run of two or three years each containing one total eclipse and most often an annular one, too, and then a year containing only partial events. There are 15 upcoming opportunities to see a total eclipse, and below we summarize when and where you should place yourself in order to experience the stunning phenomena firsthand. The map in Figure 15-7, showing the ground tracks for all such eclipses between 1996 and 2020, will help.

December 4, 2002:

In June of 2001 a total eclipse visited Angola and again in December 2002 that nation is crossed, the track continuing on a more southerly route along the Botswana—Zimbabwe border. Most of

FIGURE 15-7. This world map shows the ground tracks for all total solar eclipses between 1996 and 2020.

the path is over the deep southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, but it enters land again near Ceduna in South Australia before frittering out in the northeast of that state. The maximum duration of totality is a few seconds over two minutes.

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