Solar Eclipse: August 21, 2017
CNR Researchers Show Locations of Clearest Skies for Solar Eclipse
Researchers from CNR have developed a map that shows the likelihood of clear viewing of the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. This map documents the probability of clear sky based upon location and was developed using 16 years of daily satellite observations from the MODIS sensor onboard the Terra Satellite, which is operated by NASA.
Luigi Boschetti is an associate professor of remote sensing in NRS and Andrea Melchiorre is a Ph.D. student who is funded by a NASA Earth System Science Fellowship to assess the impact of clouds on global fire mapping capabilities from satellite. The two adapted methods and the programming code that was developed for Melchiorre’s doctoral dissertation to generate the clear sky probability map.
“There have been many maps created to document the path of the eclipse through the United States and the world,” said Boschetti. “However, this map is unique because we have added information on the probability of clear skies – meaning how well you will actually be able to see the eclipse from where you are located in the U.S.”
The map shows that viewing conditions in the western U.S. will generally be very good, but will decline as the eclipse path heads east.
The map composition was built using the publicly available data sources listed below:
- The background satellite image used to provide geographic context outside the Continental US is the NASA Blue Marble dataset.
- The shapefile of the total eclipse path (umbra) was downloaded from NASA Scientific Visualization Studio.
- The shapefile of the major roads of the United States was downloaded from USGS.
- The cities dataset.
- The U.S. State boundaries are provided by ESRI.
The Clear Sky Probability Map Conterminous United States (PDF)
The Clear Sky Probability Map Inland Northwest (PDF)
Interactive Google Earth© Clear Sky Probability (Download and open in Google Earth©)
Interactive Google Earth© Full Eclipse Path (Download and open in Google Earth©)