HeyWhatsThat visualization tools for August 1 solar eclipse


Michael Kosowsky of HeyWhatsThat writes:

I’ve enhanced HeyWhatsThat‘s astronomical sites for the August 1 total solar eclipse [over Siberia]. By using topocentric rather than geocentric place for the Moon and interpolating planetary positions, the images now better match what I’d guess is the gold standard: NASA’s Solar Eclipse Web Site (If you’re going to spend time or money traveling to see the eclipse, please use their numbers, not mine.)

The planisphere:

The cosmic visibility site:

  • Visit the site and you can see a simulation of the eclipse in your browser, again for either your own location or the eclipse maximum in Siberia. Just click on one of the “August solar eclipse” links under “interesting events”.

As of this writing the “Earth” tab doesn’t show the path of the Moon’s shadow, but the NASA site does a great job of that here. Be sure to click on their map to get the eclipse circumstances for any location.

With the new Google Earth API — the ability to put Google Earth inside a web browser and control it programmatically — I hope to merge a lot of the planisphere and cosmic functionality into a single site… but probably not before the eclipse.

Google Earth Blog also has an entry with a KML link to the path of totality for the eclipse.