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Tracing the 2017 Solar Eclipse

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Published on Dec 14, 2016

When depicting an eclipse path, data visualizers have usually chosen to represent the moon's shadow as an oval. By bringing in a variety of NASA data sets, visualizer Ernie Wright has created a new and more accurate representation of the eclipse.

For the first time, we are able to see that the moon's shadow is better represented as a polygon. This more complicated shape is based NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's view of the mountains and valleys that form the moon's jagged edge. By combining moon's terrain, heights of land forms on Earth, and the angle of the sun, Wright is able to show the eclipse path with the greatest accuracy to date.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Genna Duberstein

Music: Life Choices by Eric Chevalier

For more information: http://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12412

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