Before you go to the page, though, please read and understand these IMPORTANT instructions!
Xavier has given us a great help
file for his remarkable page, and it has all the (very!) technical information you need.
Here is a quick summary that may also be of help to you:
1) When the map loads, you will need to zoom in and then click anywhere on the map (such as
where you intend to view the eclipse from!) to find the local eclipse circumstances for that location.
2) A lot of information will be presented in the popup - most of which you probably don't care
about. IF YOU ARE IN THE PATH OF TOTALITY, here is what you DO care about:
C1 - This is the start of the partial phase, when the moon takes
its first very small little bite out of the sun. There is going to be an eclipse today for you! (Are you in the path? If not, then it won't be total!)
- The part you've been waiting for: The "Diamond Ring" at the beginning of totality!! This is when you can begin to
remove your eclipse glasses
, and (as soon as all of the
sun's bright disk is covered, and you can't see anything through your eclipse glasses) watch the eclipse with your bare eyes!
Maximum Eclipse (also known as "mid-eclipse") - this is the midpoint of the eclipse. If
you are in the path of totality, it is the middle of the total phase.
This is the ONLY time it is ever safe to look at the eclipsed Sun directly!
The Moon is covering all of the Sun, and the sight is not any brighter than the full Moon. THIS is what all the excitement is about, and it is why you
MUST be in the path of totality to see the main event! (In fact, if you try to look at totality through your eclipse glasses during totality, you will not see anything at all!)
(If you are not in the path of totality, you will not see this phase at all - and in that case, you must watch the ENTIRE ECLIPSE through your eclipse glasses!)
- The end of totality. The moon moves on, the Diamond Ring appears again, and a very small piece of the Sun's bright
disk is visible again. (It's really bright!) This is when you have to put your eclipse glasses
back on, to protect your eyes.
C4 - The end of the partial phase. A very anticlimactic moment, to say the least.
PLEASE NOTE that the above times, though dutifully given to the
tenth of a second on Xavier's great page, are still approximate due to the varying "edge effects" that are difficult to
predict exactly. (Though Xavier is among the best in the world at it!) YOU MUST use your eclipse glasses to protect your eyes
ANY TIME that ANY piece of the sun's bright disk is visible!
(If it's bright, then you have to use your eclipse glasses - simple as that!)
PLEASE NOTE that if you do not see any times listed at all in the popup, you have selected a location that will
NOT see ANY of the eclipse. NOTHING - no partial, no total, nothing at all!! (That will NOT be a good place to be on eclipse day!)
ALSO NOTE that if you do not see times for C2 and C3 in the popup, that means that the location you selected does not see totality
at all. Not only do you have to use your eclipse glasses AT ALL TIMES during the ENTIRE
eclipse, but you WILL NOT see the beauty of the total eclipse - and you will wonder what
all the fuss was about. This eclipse will end up not being special or memorable for you - and you will truly wonder
why everyone else from the path of totality is raving about what they saw there!
PLEASE PLAN to be situated inside the path of totality! (It is very clearly marked on Xavier's map...!)
PLEASE NOTE that all the times you will see on the map are given
in what's called Universal Time (UT) - and the times are in 24-hour format, just like the military uses. Pilots and military personnel know this as Zulu
time, or even GMT; but for us regular folk, we HAVE to adjust this time to the local time zone as follows:
- If you are in the PACIFIC time zone, subtract 7 hours from the UT times you see.
- If you are in the MOUNTAIN time zone, subtract 6 hours from the UT times you see.
Except for most of Arizona, which does not observe daylight time, and so will also be UT minus 7 hours. (But the eclipse isn't total
in Arizona... so you should really be farther North, in the path!)
- If you are in the CENTRAL time zone, subtract 5 hours from the UT times you see.
- If you are in the EASTERN time zone, subtract 4 hours from the UT times you see.
EXAMPLE: You are in Denver CO - in the Mountain Daylight Time Zone.
If one of the times you see says 17:47:08, then you have to subtract 6 hours to get a time just after 11:47am local.
EXAMPLE: You are in Nashville TN - in the Central Daylight Time Zone.
If one of the times you see says 18:28:17, then you have to subtract 5 hours to get a time just after 1:28pm local.
And Xavier has given us a great tool to know which time zone the point we've selected is in! When you open the interactive map page, you'll see a control panel on the left:
If you click on the time zone display icon (shown by the red arrow), then whenever you click a point on the map, a box will pop up to show you the time zone for that point, and the
associated time adjustment you must apply to the UT times! (Use the "Local Time" adjustment! And UTC means the same thing as UT, as far as you're concerned!)
You MUST perform these time adjustments, because:
The times you see within the map's cool info blocks
Are NOT the same as what it says on local clocks!
I have read and understood the above instructions;
take me to the map!
*And finally, Xavier has done the entire eclipse community, as well as the general eclipse-viewing public, a great service by performing all the work necessary to bring us this
wonderful tool. It is difficult to describe the level of effort and knowledge that is required, and Xavier does this for no more reason than that it is needed; his heart is truly
in the right place, and all eclipse chasers owe him a huge debt of gratitude. We therefore ask that you please
support Xavier's eclipse calculation efforts by providing any contribution you can, according solely to your ability and desire. We promote this because it is the right thing to do for him, and
you can be certain that any support you can give is truly appreciated!