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Thousand Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses 1501 to 2500

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About the author:

Fred Espenak is a retired astrophysicist from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His primary research involved infrared spectroscopy of planetary atmospheres. He also became NASA's expert on solar and lunar eclipse predictions and still maintains NASA's official eclipse website (

Known by his nickname "Mr. Eclipse", he is co-author along with Mark Littmann of the popular book "Totality - Eclipses of the Sun". In 2009, Espenak published the comprehensive "Five Millennium Canon of Lunar Eclipses: -1999 to +3000" with 5000 years of eclipse diagrams and maps. He has also published thirteen NASA eclipse bulletins, each one focusing on a specific eclipse.

Espenak's website focuses on eclipse photography while the new website is devoted to the dissemination of his latest eclipse predictions. An avid eclipse chaser, he has participated in dozens of eclipse expeditions around the world including remote and unusual locations such as the Sahara, Bolivia's altiplano, Mongolia, Lake Turkana and Antarctica.

In 2003, the International Astronomical Union honored him by naming asteroid 14120, Espenak. Now living in rural Arizona, he spends most clear nights losing sleep and photographing the stars from Bifrost Observatory (

Thousand Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses 1501 to 2500

Authored by Fred Espenak

The Thousand Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses 1501 to 2500 contains diagrams, maps and data for each of the 2,424 lunar eclipses occurring over the period covered by this publication. The eclipse predictions are based on the Jet Propulsion Lab's DE406 - a computer ephemeris used for calculating high precision coordinates of the Sun and Moon for thousands of years into the past and future.

Section 1 of the Canon presents fundamental concepts including eclipse classification and the visual appearance of each type of eclipse. Section 2 discusses the eclipse predictions, the constants used and Delta T. A statistical analysis of eclipse frequency, extremes in eclipse magnitude, greatest duration and quincena combinations are covered in Section 3. A concise explanation of the data contained in the lunar eclipse catalog (Appendix A) appears in Section 4 while Section 5 offers a complete description of information presented in each of the lunar eclipse diagrams (Appendix B).

The primary content of the Thousand Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses resides in the two appendices. Appendix A is a comprehensive catalog listing the essential characteristics of each eclipse. These include the calendar date and time of greatest eclipse, Delta T, lunation number, Saros series number, gamma, penumbral and umbral eclipse magnitudes, durations of the penumbral, partial and total phases, and the geocentric location of the Moon in zenith at greatest eclipse. Appendix B is an atlas of figures depicting the path of the Moon through Earth's shadows and maps identifying the geographic regions of visibility of each eclipse. The 2,424 figures are arranged twelve to a page at an image scale permitting the assessment of eclipse visibility from any location on Earth. Other data on each figure include the eclipse type, calendar date and time of greatest eclipse, Saros series number, lunar node, Delta T, gamma, eclipse magnitudes, and phase durations.

The diagrams and data presented in the Thousand Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses form the basis of the eclipse prediction website The complementary publication, Thousand Year Canon of Solar Eclipses 1501 to 2500, contains maps and data for all 2,389 eclipses of the Sun occurring over the same time period.

Publication Date:
1941983014 / 9781941983010
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Science / Astronomy / General

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