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NASA Eclipse Maps Are In Error as much as One-half Mile!

10 Aug 2017, 16:59 UTC
NASA Eclipse Maps Are In Error as much as One-half Mile!
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By Rick BoozerI was ready to write an article about this issue, but the Kansas City Star beat me to it. See their article: “Those maps of eclipse path? ‘Wrong’, experts say by up to one-half mile at edge” As that article indicates, you might think you are in the path of totality when you are not!However, there are a couple of important points that the Star article overlooks.First point. The reported inaccuracy doesn’t just apply to the boundary edges of the path of totality, it also applies to the centerof the path where the amount of totality time is supposed longest. Again, you might think you are going to get maximum totality at the location you have chosen, when you are not. Mind you, it will only be a few seconds off at most, but still off. To die-hard eclipse chasers, every second is precious.Second point. As an astrophysicist, I would never rely on the NASA map for this very reason. Instead, there is only one truly reliable source of eclipse data; that is, the U.S. Naval Observatory. Eclipse prediction has alwaysbeen USNO’s job almost as far back in time as the nation’s founding. Even NASA gets their data ...

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