Hybrid Solar Eclipse Path 3-Nov-2013

Published on Dec 23, 2012

This video shows a loop of the november 3 2013 hybrid solar eclipse's path across the earth. The outer region with lighter shading (penbumbra) shows where observers will see only a partial solar eclipse. The very small dot in the center (umbra) shows where observers will see an annular / total eclipse. In terms of visibility, africa will see this eclipse most easily, and is the only continent which will experience totality. Extreme eastern North america, extreme sotheastern europe, and northeastern south america will see a partial eclipse, but unfortunately it won't appear too impressive as less than half of the sun will appear covered, while the path of totality does a surprisingly good job of staying far from most land.
Now, if you're like me, you had probably never heard of a hybrid solar eclipse until you stumbled across the term somewhere. Honestly, it's easy to see why, because these eclipses are by far the most rare, often occuring only once per eight years as opposed to about once every two for all other types of solar eclipses. The reason for their rarity is because they require a lot of specific conditions in order to occur. While total eclipses simply need the moon to be close anough to earth to appear larger than the sun in the sky, and annular eclipses require that the moon be too far from the earth to appear as large as the sun, a hybrid eclipse requires that the threshhold between too far away and close enough be crossed while the eclipse is ongoing. Often this threshold is crossed when the added distance resulting from the curvature of the earth's surface is factored in, meaning that literally the relatively small distance of earth's radius is enough to change the very nature of the eclipse as it traverses different parts of the world. (I say relatively small because the moon's average distance from earth is 240,000 miles or so while the earth's radius is less than 4,000 miles)

Image loop source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_eclipse_of_November_3,_2013

Hybrid timing informations: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001.html

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