Total solar eclipse on 1 August 2008

The globe on the left shows the totality path for the total solar eclips of August 1st 2008. Totalit starts at sunrise in Canada, and the shadow of the moon passes Greenland, the Barentz Sea, Nove Zembla, mainland Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and ends in at sunset in China.

The Russian city of Novosibirsk lies on the central line of the eclipse. Totality here will last 2m20s with the sun aproximately 30 above the horizon. For those planning a trip: Novosibirsk lies along the famous Trans Siberian Railroad.

I am planning a vacation in China and visit the totality zone with Eclipse-City. On 31 July we will fly from Shanghai to Jiayuguan. In the Gobi desert totality will be around 11:13 UT (19:13 local time) and last 1m50s. The sun will be 15 above the horizon, with on the left the planets Mercury and Venus (see below). On 2 August we will fly back to Shanghai in the and continue our tour in China.

The totality path can be downloaded Google Earth format. Save the file with a *.kml extension.


Source: Fred Espenak, NASA GSFC


The chart on the left shows that the chances of a sunny sky are highest in China, in the area between Hami and Jiuquan.

If you want a 100% certain clear sky have a look at the  TravelQuest International website. They offer a flight from Germany over the North Pole and the totality zone. Costs from $ 8800 for two seats.






Source: Jay Anderson

Above an overview of the sky around the Sun during the totality around 19:13 local time (11:13 UT). The Sun (and Moon) are in the constellation
 of Cancer. Left above the Sun are the planets Mercury (-1.8m), Venus (-3.9m), Saturn (1.1m) and Mars (1.7m).

During the Egypt total eclipse of 29 March 2006 Venus was alreayd visible fifteen minutes before totality. During the eclipse Mercury was
visible between Venus and the Sun.

Recently I found an old map of this area. Texts are in French and Dutch: Kaart van Klyn-Bukharia, en de Nabuurige Landen. The map dates from 1749. The meridians are not related to Greenwich or Paris but to the island of Hierro (Ferro), the most westerly of the Canary Islands. Hierro is also named Isladel Meridiana. To convert to longitude with respect to Greenwich, 18 degrees should be subtracted.

Jiayuguan is on the map as Khya-yu-quan and Hami where many eclipse travelles will go is mentioned as Khamil. Totality is indicated with blue lines.

Map of Klyn-Bukharia and totality 1 August 2008

The original version of this Carte de la Petite Bukharie et Pays Voisins is French only, and was made by Jacques-Nicolas Belling for the 18th century travel book l'Histoire Generale des Voyages. The Dutch texts have been added by Jan van Schley, probably around 1760. On the bottom left it shows: J. v. Schley direx.

Update: 28 May 2008