Recently someone contacted me with some interesting Google Earth files which show solar eclipse paths (where the eclipse is viewable on the ground), both total and annular (for information on solar eclipses see this Wikipedia article). His web site contains a few historical ones dating back to 1961, but is mostly focused on near-term (those in this century) future eclipses. The next total solar eclipse is only 76 days away on 29-March-2006 and crosses over a lot of land mass from southern Russia, across Kazahkstan, Turkey, and right across north-central Africa. Here is the 29-March-2006 Total Eclipse path for Google Earth. Now you can plan your trip with Google Earth for the best location to view the Eclipse, find an airport, make hotel arrangements, figure out which geocaches are nearby, etc. Thanks to Xavier Jubier for creating the GE files and informing me about them. Also, his data came from Fred Espenak, at NASA/GSFC.
By the way, last October someone at the Google Earth Community, calling himself ‘yaohua2000’, posted a huge repository of all the solar eclipses (4.7 Mbytes) since the year 1001 for GE. WARNING: this might take a while to load (4.7 Mbytes), and your Earth will look like a yarn ball after it loads (he defaults with all the eclipse paths turned on). I recommend after it loads you find the placemark folder in your Temporary Places folder called “Eclipses” and turn it off. Then open the folder and turn on the type and year of eclipses you want to see (it is well organized hierachically). This is a very interesting collection of data. I was able to find a total eclipse I saw as a child (a long time ago).
About Frank Taylor
Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.
Who ever created google earth, that is an amazing job well done you surly opened my horizions to the whole picture . That would really be amazing if you showed the arial veiw of the whole eclipse as it happens minus all the bright light or what not
Xavier Jubier says
Jennifer, this can be done but looking at the moon’s umbra moving on the Earth isn’t really interesting.
On the contrary, observing from the ground the amazing event a total solar eclipse is, should be done at least once in a lifetime. This is something you will never forget…
Please visit http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/libya/EclipseCity2006.html and watch the 3D movie in which you will see the umbra moving
http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/Solar_Eclipses.html for some solar eclipses
http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/HSE_20050408_pg06.html for a small movie of the short 32-second eclipse in the middle of the pacific last year
VICTORIA PELLICANO says
PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME. I WAS OUT IN RUMSON, NJ. WATCHING THE SUNSET ON JULY 19TH AT ABOUT 7:45 PM. WHEN I TOOK A PICTURE OF THE SUNSET. I TOOK THREE AND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SUN THERE WAS A PURPLE BALL AS CLEAR AS DAY. I HAD TAKEN THREE PICTURES FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES AND EACH ONE HAD THE SAME ROUND PURPLE BALL. I LOOKED TO SEE IF WE HAD AN ECLIPLE THAT CAN BE SEEN IN THE UNITED STATES AND ALL I FIND IS THAT THERE WILL BE ONE IN CHINA ON THE 21ST OF JULY. PLEASE SOMEONE EXPLAIN WHY DO I HAVE THIS BEAUTIFUL PICTURE ON MY CELL PHONE. I COULD NOT SEE IT WITH MY NAKED EYE. WAS THIS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN IN THE U.S. ON JULY 19TH. PLEASE EXPLAIN.