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Aug 1, 2008 Total Solar Eclipse

The total solar eclipse on August 1, 2008 begins in Canada and extends across northern Greenland, the Arctic region, central Russia, Mongolia, and China. A partial eclipse is seen within the broader path of the moon's penumbra (partially shaded outer region), which includes northeastern North America, most of Europe, the Middle East and western parts of Asia.

What the eclipse would look like near the maximum point

The animation shows approximately what the eclipse looks like near the maximum point of the eclipse (weather permitting).

Is this eclipse viewable in Washington DC?


This animation requires Flash to be installed. We hope to offer it without needing Flash soon.

Click the 'play' button to view the animation. The pause button can also be used to temporarily suspend the animation.

The animation shows where this total solar eclipse is visible (white, gray and red shading) as well as day and night (dark “wave” slowly moving across the Earth's surface).

The colors within the shaded area show how much of the Sun's disk the Moon covers during the eclipse. The dark center of the red area shows the best locations to view this eclipse. Here, the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun and the eclipse is total.

In the red area, the Sun is obscured 90 percent or more, in the dark gray area the Moon covers between 25 and 90 percent of the Sun's disk. The white shaded area symbolizes locations where less than 25 percent are covered.

The dark strip in the center indicates the best locations for viewing the eclipse. Here, the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun.

The eclipse is also visible in the areas that are shaded red, but less of the Sun's disk is obscured. The fainter the red shading the less of the Sun's disk is covered during the eclipse.

Where to see the eclipse

Continents seeing at least a partial eclipse:

Total eclipse visible in:

Locations near the shadow's path:

Partial eclipse visible in:


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When the eclipse happens worldwide

The eclipse starts at one location and ends at another. The times below are actual times (in UTC) when the eclipse occurs.
EventUTC TimeTime in Washington DC*
First location to see partial eclipse beginAug 1 at 8:04 AMAug 1 at 4:04 AM
First location to see full Eclipse beginAug 1 at 9:21 AMAug 1 at 5:21 AM
Maximum EclipseAug 1 at 10:19 AMAug 1 at 6:19 AM
Last location to see full Eclipse endAug 1 at 11:21 AMAug 1 at 7:21 AM
Last location to see partial Eclipse endAug 1 at 12:38 PMAug 1 at 8:38 AM

* Local times shown do not refer to when the eclipse can be observed from Washington DC. Instead, they indicate the times when the eclipse begins, is at its max, and ends, somewhere else on earth. The corresponding local times are useful if you want to view the eclipse via a live webcam.
Eclipses viewable in Washington DC.

The eclipse's path

The path of this eclipse begins in the Northwest Territories in Canada and finishes in north-central China. Though the central shadow narrowly misses Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island and Resolute on Cornwallis Island, its edge just nips the town of Alert on Ellesmere Island, giving residents 40 seconds of early morning totality.

Across the Atlantic north, the eclipse’s path skips across Greenland’s northernmost coast and comes within about 720 kilometers (450 miles) of the North Pole before heading southward toward more moderate climes. Totality of the eclipse passes by Svalbard in Norway and touches Russia’s Franz Josef Land island group before cutting across Novaya Zemlya on its way to mainland Asia.

The umbra first touches the Russian coast of the Yamal Peninsula. The solar eclipse occurs closer to the inland, producing about two minutes and 27 seconds of totality and reaches near the town of Nadym, inland from the boot shaped Gulf of Obskaja. Continuing to hook towards the southeast, the central path passes near Novosibirsk where totality lasts about two minutes and 18 seconds. The path then enters western Mongolia, with the towns of Olgij and Bulgan seeing about two minutes of a total eclipse. A total eclipse then occurs in north-central China before the umbra leaves Earth just north of the cities of Lanzhou and Xian. A partial eclipse will be seen throughout northeastern North America, most of Europe, the Middle East and western parts of Asia.

Eclipses in 2008

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