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Viewer's Guide: Aug. 1 Solar Eclipse

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  • George Lessard
    Viewer s Guide: Aug. 1 Solar Eclipse By Joe Rao SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist posted: 25 July 2008 12:35 am ET
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 25, 2008
      Viewer's Guide: Aug. 1 Solar Eclipse

      By Joe Rao
      SPACE.com Skywatching Columnist
      posted: 25 July 2008
      12:35 am ET



      Friday, August 1 is a red-letter day for eclipse enthusiasts. On that
      date, the sun will be partially eclipsed over an immense area that
      includes western and central Asia, parts of northern and central
      Europe, all of Greenland and even a small slice of northeastern North

      A total solar eclipse — the first in nearly two and a half years —
      will be visible along a narrow track that will start over the
      Northwest Passage of Canada, gives a glancing blow to northern
      Greenland, then shifts southeast through Siberia and western Mongolia
      and before ending near the famed Silk Route of China.

      The path of totality for this upcoming eclipse is never more than 157
      miles (252 km) wide.

      Where it's visible

      The total eclipse begins at sunrise over Northern Canada's Queen Maud
      Gulf, where the moon's umbra will first touch down on the Earth,
      resulting in Canada's hosting its first total solar eclipse since
      February 26, 1979.

      As the sun comes into view over the north-northeast horizon its disk
      will become completely blocked by the moon. This is in the area of the
      famous Northwest Passage, a sea route connecting the Atlantic and
      Pacific Oceans through the Arctic archipelago of Canada. The various
      islands of the archipelago are separated from one another and the
      Canadian mainland by a series of Arctic waterways collectively known
      as the Northwestern Passages. Politically, this region belongs to
      Nunavut, the largest and newest of the territories of Canada; it was
      separated officially from the vast Northwest Territories on April 1,

      Although the umbral shadow narrowly misses the towns of Cambridge Bay
      on Victoria Island, and Resolute on Cornwallis Island, its northern
      edge just clips the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the
      world: Canada's remote outpost of Alert, which lies just 508 miles
      (817 km) from the North Pole and has a population of just 5. Here,
      totality will last 43 seconds.
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