Path of Totality


The track of the umbra on the Earth's surface during a total solar eclipse. If the eclipse is total, the path of totality traced out by the umbra is much narrower. From the animation below, you can see the umbra trace out a path of totality on the earth's surface.

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Distances are not to scale, and we have idealized the illustration by fixing the Earth in space relative to the Sun. In reality, the Earth will be in motion around its orbit as the Moon moves around the Earth.

The Total Solar Eclipse of 21 June 2001. The narrow red region is the path of totality. The shadow travels from west to east (left to right on the map). At the point of greatest eclipse, totality is at local midday. West of that point the eclipse will be total before local noon; east of it, totality will be seen after local noon. The area on either side of the path of totality will provide a partial eclipse, the magnitude decreasing with distance from the path of totality.