USA Eclipse 2017

Created by gzotti on on 2017-06-21
Keywords:
Last updated by:
gzotti on on 2017-07-16

In case you want to use Stellarium to create contact time or visibility predictions for your observation location for the Total Solar Eclipse on August 21, 2017, please note:

Stellarium was never planned to be a highly accurate eclipse predictor.
Over the last few years Stellarium has become more accurate, but is still not perfect.
Two slight inaccuracies in computation in versions prior to 0.16 quite strongly affected eclipse accuracy, in the order of 1 minute.
In 0.16.0, we hope to have solved these two, and a few tests have shown only a few seconds of contact time difference between Stellarium and predictions found on websites dedicated to the eclipse of 2017. Obviously, you must activate Topocentric coordinates in the Configuration/Tools dialog. (It is activated by default.)

For all you die-hard XP users: this version (only the "classic" flavour) still even works on XP. Make sure to update graphics drivers though. A Geforce 9600 crashed with 335 drivers, but works with 340 drivers.

Therefore we think Stellarium is now a pretty good tool also for illustrating TSE2017-08-21, but if you need utmost accuracy for contact times or durations, e.g. to pre-program camera timers, please get predictions from such dedicated websites as https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html

In any case, take care and protect your eyes from direct sunlight during partial phases, and else, "Clear Skies" for your observations!

P.S.: Unfortunately one of the fixes causes rendering problems with Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in v0.16.0. The betas from early July and later have a fix.