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21st Century Canon of Solar Eclipses - Color Edition

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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 of the popular book "Totality - Eclipses of the Sun." He also wrote 13 NASA eclipse bulletins, each focusing on a major eclipse. In 2014, Espenak published the comprehensive "Thousand Year Canon of Solar Eclipses: 1501 to 2500" and the complementary volume "Thousand Year Canon of Lunar Eclipses: 1501 to 2500." His most recent publication "Eclipse Bulletin: Total solar Eclipse of 2017 August 21" is a comprehensive guide to that most anticipated event.

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, the Bolivian altiplano, Mongolia, Kenya’s Lake Turkana and Antarctica. His enthusiasm for eclipses spills over into public speaking, and he frequently gives talks about his favorite subject.

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

21st Century Canon of Solar Eclipses - Color Edition

Authored by Fred Espenak

The 21st Century Canon of Solar Eclipses - Color Edition contains maps and data for all 224 solar eclipses occurring during the 100-year period from 2001 through 2100. The eclipse predictions are based on the Jet Propulsion Lab's DE405 - a computer ephemeris used for calculating high precision coordinates of the Sun and Moon for hundreds of years into the past and future.

Section 1 of the Canon presents fundamental concepts including eclipse classification the visual appearance of each type of eclipse, safe eclipse viewing tips, and how duration changes with distance from the central line. Section 2 discusses the eclipse the predictions, the constants used, time measurement and Delta T. A statistical analysis of eclipse frequency, extremes in eclipse magnitude, greatest central duration and quincena combinations are covered in Section 3. A concise explanation of the data contained in the solar eclipse catalog (Appendix A) and detailed descriptions of the solar eclipse maps (Appendices B, C and D) appear in Sections 4 and 5.

The primary content of the 21st Century Canon resides in the four 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, gamma, eclipse magnitude, geographic coordinates of greatest eclipse, Sun's altitude and azimuth, central path width and central line duration. Appendix B is an atlas of maps depicting the geographic regions of visibility of each eclipse. The zones of partial and central eclipse are plotted using an orthographic (global) map projection. The 224 maps are arranged twelve to a page permitting the assessment of eclipse visibility from any location on Earth. Appendix C contains zeros in on every solar eclipses from 2017 through 2066 with a detailed full page map of each. Curves of Maximum Time and Curves of Eclipse Magnitude permit the estimation of time and magnitude from any geographic location. Finally, Appendix D plots the track of every central eclipse (total, annular and hybrid) on large scale maps to allow the identification of countries and major cities within each eclipse path.

The 21st Century Canon is the modern successor to the NASA publication “Fifty Year Canon of Solar Eclipses”. It is available in both black & white and color editions.

Publication Date:
194198312X / 9781941983126
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Full Color
Related Categories:
Science / Astronomy / General

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