Experts warn that the edge of the path of a total solar eclipse may shift slightly

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Solar eclipse 2024

Your chance of seeing Monday's eclipse may be lower.

New calculations by John Irwin, an expert on eclipse calculations, indicate that the total path of the solar eclipse — where the Moon will completely block the Sun — is actually 600 yards narrower than NASA's official forecast.

This means that if you plan to view the eclipse from a location on the edge of the path of totality, you may have a shorter window.

A new projection onto the path of totality of the solar eclipse has reduced the area to be seen by about 600 yards. Google Maps
The edges of Monday's total solar eclipse zone could be 600 yards narrower than previously estimated, based on an expert's new map.

Some sites you will miss completely.

Based on this new data, areas that were expected to witness the total eclipse for a few seconds – such as Rome and New York; Effingham, Illinois; and Montreal's Cité Jardin – now out of the area.

The change over the total route of 115 miles wide and 9,200 miles long was First reported by Forbes.

A NASA scientist confirmed that the old official map may not be completely accurate and advised people on the edge to travel a mile or so into the area to ensure they see the moon completely blocking the sun.

Reason for the discrepancy: disagreement over the size of the sun.

“Calculations using a slightly larger radius for the size of the Sun yield a slightly narrower eclipse path,” says Dr. Michael Kirk, a research scientist in the Heliophysics Division at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He said excitement Wednesday.

“This difference will only affect cities at the edge of the overall trajectory, where comprehensive forecasts are difficult, regardless.

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Map showing where the moon's shadow will cross the United States during the annular solar eclipse of 2023 and the total solar eclipse of 2024. NASA

“A few buildings in the city could somehow mean 20, 10, or zero seconds of the total.”

The total eclipse area could also be affected slightly by “uncertainties in the Earth's rotation,” Kirk said.

“Travelling toward the center of the kidney's path — even if it's a mile or two — will quickly increase the length of the kidney that people can see.”

Any slight difference in the area will not affect the vast majority of the estimated 34 million people who are expected to witness the total solar eclipse on Monday.

Many major US cities such as Dallas, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Buffalo are still in the middle of the path, and will see approximately 4 minutes of total darkness.

Southern parts of the United States will actually see a slightly expanded total path if Irwin's forecast is accurate, including San Antonio and Austin, where McKinney Falls State Park in the Lone State is suddenly now in a narrow area.

Several hours north from there, the area begins to narrow, squeezing Denton, Texas, and Lake Lewisville slightly outside the blackout zone.

Everything you want to know about the 2024 solar eclipse

  • The solar eclipse will occur on Monday, April 8, blocking the sun for more than 180 million people in its path.
  • The eclipse will extend from the Pacific coast of Mexico across North America, hitting 15 US states and pulling itself to the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
  • New Yorkers will witness a solar eclipse after 2 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
  • A huge explosion at the Sun, known as a coronal mass ejection, is expected, according to experts. This happens when massive particles from the sun are launched into space, explains Ryan French of the National Solar Observatory in Boulder, Colorado.
  • To avoid serious eye injury, it is necessary to view the event with appropriate glasses such as eclipse glasses, or a portable solar projector, during the partial eclipse phase before and after totality.
  • The next total solar eclipse will occur on August 12, 2026. Totality will be visible to residents of Greenland, Iceland, Spain, Russia and a small sliver of Portugal.
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As the overall area moved northeast, Effingham, Illinois, Crawfordsville, Frankfort, Kokomo, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, were set to lose part of their visibility — as were Canton, Columbus, and Cincinnati, Ohio, according to Forbes.

Projections show that in New York's Finger Lake region, small towns such as Penn Yan, Dresden, and Romulus have been negatively affected, and the city of Rome has now been almost completely pushed out of the area.

In Canada, parts of Toronto, Montreal, Drummondville and Lumsden also lost part of the once-in-a-sky display.

Irwin's collaborator Luca Quaglia explained to Forbes that he believes their projection is more accurate because they used a more precise measurement of the Sun and Moon rather than the widely used numbers based on calculations of the Sun's size that have been used since the 19th century.

A new totality path map shows that much of Rome and New York will not be able to see the total eclipse. John Irwin

“Measurements and observations in the past decade have proven this [the traditional measurement of the sun] “It's very small,” Quaglia said, adding: “There is evidence that the radius of the Sun has changed over the centuries.”

He also confirmed that the jagged edges of the Moon's terrain, carefully calculated by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, would narrowly affect the overall path.

However, there is no guarantee that the new measurements are completely accurate.

“How far beyond the eclipse boundaries the solar corona will not be visible is something that cannot be guessed,” Quaglia said. “There is no experimental data to support any distance reach.”

The longest period of darkness in the region will be in Torreon, Mexico, where the sun will be blocked for 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

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By the time the eclipse can be seen in Lake Placid, New York, the total length of the eclipse will have been reduced to 3 minutes and 21 seconds.

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