Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 August 21
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Map of Total Solar Eclipse Path in 2017 August
Image Credit: Fred Espenak (NASA's GSFC),, Google Maps

Explanation: Would you like to see a total eclipse of the Sun? If so, do any friends or relatives live near the path of next summer's eclipse? If yes again, then you might want to arrange a visit for one year from today. Next year on this exact date, the path of a total solar eclipse will cut right across the center of the contiguous USA. All of North America and part of South America will experience, at the least, a partial solar eclipse. Featured here is a map of the path of totality, computed by eclipse expert Fred Espenak of NASA's GSFC. Many people who have seen a total solar eclipse tell stories about it for the rest of their lives. The last path of solar totality that included any part of the contiguous USA was in 1979, and the next two will be in 2024 and 2044.

Zoom in: An interactive map of the eclipse path.
Tomorrow's picture: total eclipse analemma

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