Basic Astronomy

Total solar eclipse on 21st August 2017

21st August 2017 Solar eclipse animation

(Animation of the Solar eclipse. Image credit NASA.)

On 21st August 2017, a total solar eclipse will take place.

The total solar eclipse will be visible from Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi and Pacific.

One can see a Partial Solar Eclipse from east Asia, Australia and Pacific. The eclipse starts at 00:02 UTC and ends at 03:30 UTC. If viewed from East of the International date line, the eclipse will be visible on 8th March 2016 and if viewed from west of the International date line, the eclipse will be visible on 21st August 2017.

The next solar eclipse will occur on 15th February 2018.

A solar eclipse take place when Moon passes between Sun and Earth and shadow of moon totally or partially obscures Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse take place when apparent diameter of the Moon is larger than apparent diameter of the Sun, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness for few moments.


It will be the first total solar eclipse visible from the south-eastern United States since the solar eclipse of March 7, 1970.

The eclipse will be visible from a narrow corridor through the United States. The maximum width of the corridor is 115 km. The longest duration of totality will be 2 minutes 41.6 seconds at 37o35'0''N 89o7'0'W in Giant City State Park just south of Carbondale, Illinois and the greatest extent will be at 36o58'0''N 87o40'18' W near Cerulean, Kentucky between Hopkinsville and Princeton, Kentucky. A partial solar eclipse will be seen from the much broader path of the Moon's penumbra, including all of North America, northern South America, western Europe, and Africa. The eclipse will have a magnitude of 1.0306

How to watch solar eclipse?

You need to take some precautions to watch solar eclipse, otherwise you may risk your eyes. You should never try to look directly towards Sun during eclipse with the naked eye or with any optical device, such as binoculars or a telescope.

Do not use sunglasses, smoked glass, exposed color film, X-ray films, photographic neutral density filters or Polaroid filters. They are NOT safe for your eyes.

(16th June 2013)

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