May 19, 2024


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Has the path of the eclipse changed?  What it means for Kentucky

Has the path of the eclipse changed? What it means for Kentucky

The April 8 total solar eclipse, whose path crosses parts of Indiana and Kentucky, is days away, and new research suggests fewer Kentuckians may experience the totality because previous 2024 eclipse maps are wrong — but not by much.

Despite these results, NASA He told IndyStar in an email that Her expectations Because the eclipse has not changed – and added Butler University The new map won't make much difference to the millions of Hoosiers watching the eclipse, says physics and astronomy professor Brian Murphy.

“The overall route may have narrowed, maybe by a mile overall, but we're talking about going from 115 miles to 114 miles,” Murphy said. “If you are near the edge of this trail, go at least a few miles to the center to make sure you see it all.”

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When is the next total eclipse? The total track is set for April 8

A total solar eclipse is scheduled to appear in the sky on April 8, beginning in Texas at 1:27 PM EST and ending in Maine at 3:35 PM EST. The last solar eclipse visible over the United States was in 2017, and it won't happen in this accessible way again until 2024.


Here's what we know about the new eclipse's path and why it's important:

Will the path of the total solar eclipse change in 2024?

Several media reports on Tuesday and Wednesday questioned predictions of the path of the 2024 solar eclipse, or where the moon's shadow will pass over Earth when the moon partially blocks the sun. The projected path could be as much as a mile away, according to John Irwin.

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Irwin, who calculates solar eclipse data for the blog site Becilian elementsreleased Newly updated forecast For the path of the eclipse. As the first Forbes mentioned itIrwin's findings show that hundreds of towns and cities across Mexico, North America and Canada missed the solar eclipse.

Kentucky cities affected by Irwin's findings include Louisville, with a total of nearly a half-mile on the redrawn map. This means area residents will no longer find a community in Vienna, Indiana, which is located about 30 miles north of downtown. However, residents of Henderson, Morganfield and Paducah will still be able to see it all from the comfort of their homes.

Why did the eclipse map change?

The map changed because of the way Irwin and others calculated the size of the Sun, which may be a little larger than scientists thought.

Alex Young NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center recently told the astronomy publication EarthSky He and other researchers observed differences between the actual and projected path of the total solar eclipse that crossed North America in 2017, which led to a change in the creation of a new 2024 eclipse map.

Updated Solar eclipse map By Irwin and Besselian Elements, according to Forbes, factors in the precise topography of both the Moon and Earth to create a “more accurate map of the eclipse” using new information about the Sun.

How accurate is the new eclipse map?

Members of the Becilian elements on Official Facebook page They describe themselves as “a team of dedicated amateur astronomers and solar eclipse enthusiasts.” Their findings, according to the latest Article on Space.comIt has not yet been peer-reviewed, so treat it with caution.

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What does this mean for Kentucky?

NASA told IndyStar that the new eclipse map will affect cities located on the edge of the total path, as it is difficult to predict how long the eclipse will last regardless of the cause. A difference between a few buildings in the city one way or another could mean 20, 10 or 0 seconds of the total, NASA said.

The experts are Urging people They live along the edge of the eclipse path to play safe if they want to view totality by getting closer to the center of totality.

“Don't stay on the edge,” Murphy said. “Get a few miles in to ensure at least 10 to 30 seconds off your total.”

Solar Eclipse Map: Updated path of the total eclipse for Kentucky

How to interpret the updated 2024 solar eclipse map

The yellow line on the map is the center of the kidney. The red line is the original path of the eclipse while the three orange lines, according to Irwin, show the outer limits of where viewers can expect to find 100% darkness. Those who want to experience 100% darkness should view the eclipse from somewhere within the deeper orange lines.

Total solar eclipse viewing times in Kentucky