Detailed Maps of the Umbral Path

The path of totality has been plotted by hand on a set of ten detailed maps appearing in the last section of this publication. The maps are Global Navigation and Planning Charts or GNC's from the Defense Mapping Agency, which use a Lambert conformal conic projection. More specifically, GNC-4 covers Europe and western Asia while GNC-12 covers the Middle East and south Asia. GNC's have a scale of 1:5,000,000 (1 inch ~ 69 nautical miles), which is adequate for showing major cities, highways, airports, rivers, bodies of water and basic topography required for eclipse expedition planning including site selection, transportation logistics and weather contingency strategies.

Northern and southern limits, as well as the center line of the path, are plotted using data from Table 7. Although no corrections have been made for center of figure or lunar limb profile, they have little or no effect at this scale. Atmospheric refraction has not been included, as its effects play a significant role only at very low solar altitudes. In any case, refraction corrections to the path are uncertain since they depend on the atmospheric temperature-pressure profile, which cannot be predicted in advance. If observations from the graze zones are planned, then the zones of grazing eclipse must be plotted on higher scale maps using coordinates in Table 8. See Plotting the Path on Maps for sources and more information. The GNC paths also depict the curve of maximum eclipse at five and/or ten minute increments in UT from Table 3.

Selected sections of the path are plotted on higher resolution maps (i.e., ONC maps with a scale of 1:1,000,000) which are available via a special Web site of supplemental material for the total solar eclipse of 1999.

7 For partial eclipses, maximum eclipse is the instant when the greatest fraction of the Sun's diameter is occulted. For total eclipses, maximum eclipse is the instant of mid-totality.
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