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Map of the Eclipse Path

eclipse map 1

The three diagonal lines on the map above mark the area within which a spectacular total eclipse will be seen in South Africa. The top and bottom lines mark the edge of the path of totality. The width of the eclipse path, between the top and bottom diagonal lines, is about 70 kilometres. Thus, Beitbridge, Musina, Tshipise, Punda Maria and Shigwedzi will all experience a total eclipse. The central diagonal line marks the centre line of the eclipse.

Totality will last about one minute and twenty seconds if one is on the centre line of the eclipse path. The length of time for which the total eclipse is experienced decreases as one moves away from the centre line. The duration of totality decreases to zero at the edge of the path of totality, marked by the top and bottom diagonal lines.

The area in which the Sun is totally eclipsed moves rapidly from west to east, as the Moon passes from west to east in front of the Sun. Hence, totality will occur at 08h19 South African Standard Time (SAST = UT + 2 hours) at Beitbridge, and about two minute later at Shingwedzi, to the east. In the path of totality there is a 50 - 60 per cent probability that the sky will be clear for viewing the Sun, based on long-term weather data.

Places above the top diagonal line or below the bottom diagonal line will only experience a much less spectacular partial eclipse. Makhado, Thohoyandou, Giyani, Tzaneen and Phalaborwa will experience a partial eclipse.

Last updated 2002/10/08 by mike@hartrao.ac.za
. since 2002/10/08