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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Astronomy & Celestial Talk 
Thread started 18 Aug 2017 (Friday) 16:58
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How accurate is the eclipse map?

 
DMax82
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Aug 18, 2017 16:58 |  #1

Well, life has thrown me a curve, so it looks like I'll be staying in Nashville for the eclipse. A little bit of a letdown, but not the end of the world. Anyways, I am considering three locations. One is about five miles from the edge of the path of totality, the second is about a mile away, and the third is a field where the line splits the field in two. So my question is: how accurate is the map? I am referring toXavier Jubier's map (external link). I actually prefer the third location, but if the map is even slightly off, I could miss totality. What are everybody's thoughts on this? Should I play it safe and go further in from the boundary?

Thanks! David


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Mike ­ Deep
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Aug 18, 2017 19:13 |  #2

The map is up to half a mile off in some locations. Consider that your margin.


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DMax82
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Aug 18, 2017 19:20 as a reply to  @ Mike Deep's post |  #3

Thanks Mike! I will probably end up at the first location, that's about five miles inside the line. It's actually the closest one to my house, only about five minutes away. Hopefully it won't be too crowded!


T5i. Standard Canon zoom. Big Canon zoom. Wide Canon zoom. Plasticy Canon prime. Sony a6000 and a bunch of crappy old lenses plus a Samyang 12mm 2.0. Pentax K-5. Manfrotto tripod and head.

  
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Celestron
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Aug 18, 2017 22:57 |  #4

If your inside the line you can still get totality images , just will have less time so you'll have to be quick and keep the tense down . Like mentioned the perfect center line will not be precisely located but if your close you'll enjoy totality !




  
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TCampbell
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Aug 19, 2017 12:43 |  #5

Historically there have been eclipses where the path of totality was predicted but turned out to be off by a few city blocks (not miles -- maybe just 1000' or so). But now we have the ability to measure the position of the Sun/Moon/Earth to substantially higher degrees of accuracy.

Xavier's map is extremely accurate. It's based on highly accurate data not only for the orbits but also leverages the most accurate data of the Lunar Limb profile (based on the Lunar Reconassaince Orbiter). This means it even accounts for peaks & valleys on the Lunar surface.

At a conference some time back, Xavier presented his software showing the prediction of the precise pattern of the Baily's Beads effect based on that data... then showed the results of someone capturing the flash-spectrum of the Sun during the Baily's Beads and compared the two. It was staggineringly accurate at the prediction vs. the actual event.

If that map says you're outside the path of totality... then you are outside the path of totality.

Make sure you are comfortably inside the path. You can be 25 miles from the centerline and still have a spectacular eclipse as long as you are inside the path of totality.

The difference between totality and not totality is (according to an astronomy acquantance of mine who has witnessed a few dozen total solar eclipses) like the difference between attending a concert by your favorite band, with front row seats... and they're playing just for you - vs. - struggling to hear the concert from 8 blocks away. You do NOT want a 99% eclipse... you want totality.




  
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How accurate is the eclipse map?
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