SkyMap Pro Sample 7

Solar Eclipse Maps


SkyMap Pro can display a map showing the track of any of the 11,897 eclipses of the Sun which occur between 2000 BC and 3000 AD. The screen shot below displays the track of the total eclipse which crossed Europe on 11th August 1999. The thick blue line across the centre of the map represents the "line of totality" - the area within which a total eclipse was seen. The lines running roughly parallel to it to the north and south represent the limits at which an eclipse with a maximum phase of 75%, 50%, and 25% was seen; the thin blue line crossing Africa at the bottom of the map shows the "southern limit" of the eclipse - no eclipse at all was visible to the south of this line.


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We can "navigate" around an eclipse map in exactly the same as we do with a star chart. For example, to get a close-up view of the eclipse as it crosses the UK, we simply "drag" a selection rectangle with the mouse, just as we would if we wanted to zoom in on a star chart. The map immediately changes to show us a close-up view of that area of the world:


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We now clearly see the "central line" of the eclipse (the points from which the maximum duration of totality occur), together with the northern and southern limits of totality (the edges of the region from within which a total eclipse is visible). Notice also that, as we zoom in, more place names are automatically displayed.