The total eclipse of 3 November 1994 is the forty-fourth member of Saros series 133, as defined by van den Bergh (1955). All eclipses in the series occur at the Moon's ascending node and gamma decreases with each member in the series. The family began on 13 July 1219 with a partial eclipse in the northern hemisphere. During the next two centuries, a dozen partial eclipses occurred with the eclipse magnitude of each succeeding event gradually increasing. Finally, the first umbral eclipse occurred on 20 November 1435. The event was an annular eclipse with no northern limit. The followed five eclipses were also annular with maximum umbral durations decreasing from 74 to 7 seconds. The nineteenth event occurred on 24 January 1544 and was of annular/total nature. From the mid-sixteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries, the series continued to produce total eclipses with monotonically increasing durations. This trend culminated with the total eclipse of 7 August 1850 which passed through the Hawaiian Islands and had a maximum duration of 6 minutes 50 seconds.
While Saros 133 has continued to produce total eclipses throughout the twentieth century, the duration of each succeeding event is now decreasing as Earth moves progressively closer to perihelion. The most recent eclipse of the series took place on 23 October 1976. It was visible along the southeastern coast of Australia but the maximum umbral duration of 4 minutes 46 seconds occurred over the Indian Ocean. In comparison, the maximum duration of the 3 November 1994 event is 4 minutes 23 seconds in the South Atlantic. The next eclipse of the series will be 13 November 2012. While the umbra crosses northern Australia, most of the path lies over the South Pacific where the maximum of 4 minutes 2 seconds takes place.
During the next 150 years, each path moves deeper into the southern hemisphere as the maximum duration gradually decreases, dropping below the three minute mark with the eclipse of 8 January 2103. However, the eclipses from 21 February 2175 through 28 April 2283 exhibit a monotonic increase in duration from 2 minutes 50 seconds to 3 minutes 13 seconds. This century long reversal of the decreasing trend is due primarily to the passage of Earth through the vernal equinox. The effect briefly shifts the southerly migrating eclipse paths back towards the equator where the larger rotational velocity extends the duration of totality. The duration drops once more with the last five central eclipses of the series. The final total eclipse occurs on 21 June 2373 with a duration of 1 minute 24 seconds. As the series winds down, the first of seven remaining partial eclipses occurs on 3 July 2391 and exhibits a magnitude of 0.867 from high southerly latitudes. Saros 133 finally ends with its seventy-second event, the partial eclipse of 5 September 2499.
In summary, Saros series 133 includes 72 eclipses with the following distribution:
Saros 133 Partial Annular Ann/Tota Total ----------- ------- ------- -------- ----- Non-Central 19 0 0 0 Central -- 6 1 46