Solar Eclipses in Google Earth

Solar Eclipses in Google EarthIf you want to know about upcoming solar eclipses, there is an excellent web site by Xavier M. Jubier. Not only that, but he supports showing the paths showing where the eclipses are visible from (as well as historical eclipses back to 1961) in Google Earth. Here is an example of the next total solar eclipse viewable in China and Russia on August 1st, 2008. Here is the web page with the list of upcoming eclipses in GE.
Another fun Google Earth file was posted at the Google Earth Community by someone calling himself ‘yaohua2000’. It’s 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.


  1. Was it the 1970 solar eclipse you saw (the last one visible from the Eastern Seaboard)? I remember trying to get my parents to drive down to Virginia from NY so that I could see that – no luck!

  2. Ick of the East says:

    I saw the 95 in Thailand, and the 99 in Germany.
    TSE’s are the coolest things ever. If you have never seen one, make use of these links and get to one!
    You’ve probably heard how people from “primitive” cultures make loud noises during the eclipse in order to scare the moon away. This is not true. No matter how “civilized” you are, you will find yourself howling like a deranged monkey for the sheer joy of witnessing such a spectacle.

  3. Leszek, actually I did see the one in 1970. But, the one I was referring to was the February 26, 1979 total eclipse along the Washington/Oregon border. Drove up there from Tucson, Arizona when I was in college (majoring in Physics and Astronomy).

  4. Hi Frank,
    You could also speak of my two new web enabled tools:
    – Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses
    – Five Millennium Canon of Lunar Eclipses
    With these tools you can display/create Google Maps or create Google Earth files for all the eclipses during 50 centuries. Everything is done on-the-fly.
    The use of Firefox 2 or IE 6 & 7 is highly recommended as the amount of data being displayed can hang or crash other browsers. Even safari 3 doesn’t work well but Apple is working on a fix.
    They are online since the beginning of the year and will be presented during my lecture this August at the Solar Eclipse Conference in the Los Angeles Griffith Observatory.

  5. Coincidentally, I was in college at the same time as you, also majoring in physics and astronomy. I was quite a bit further away from Oregon, though.

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