2019 Path of Totality

  • Released Tuesday, April 30, 2019

This animation shows the Moon's umbra shadow as it passes over Chile and Argentina during the July 2, 2019 total solar eclipse. Through the use of a number of NASA datasets, notably the global elevation maps from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the shape and location of the shadow is depicted with high accuracy.

During the July 2, 2019 total solar eclipse, the Moon's umbral shadow will scud across South America, through Chile and Argentina, in just 7 minutes before sliding off the Earth's surface as both the Sun and Moon set. The path of this shadow, the path of totality, is where observers will see the Moon completely cover the Sun for about two and a half minutes.

This animation shows the umbra and its path in a unique way. Elevations on the Earth's surface and the irregular lunar limb (the silhouette edge of the Moon's disk) are both fully accounted for, and they both have dramatic and surprising effects on the shape of the umbra and the location of the path. The umbra becomes a polygon with edges that are ruffled by the high elevations of the Andes. To read more about these effects, go here.

The animation provides an overhead view of the umbra and runs at a rate of 30× real time — every minute of the eclipse takes two seconds in the animation.

Earth radius6378.137 km
ElevationsSRTM 3 arcsec DEM
Moon radius1737.4 km
Sun radius696,000 km (959.645 arcsec at 1 AU)
EphemerisDE 421
Earth orientationSOFA libraryiauC2t06a()
Delta UTC69.184 seconds (TT – TAI + 37 leap seconds)
ΔT69.368 seconds


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Tuesday, April 30, 2019.
This page was last updated on Monday, July 15, 2024 at 12:06 AM EDT.

Datasets used in this visualization

Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.