100 Days Until Totality! 84 Days Left – How Long Can Totality Be?


In our previous post we talked about the variations in the orbits of the Earth and Moon causing annular eclipses. These same variations effect the potential length of totality. There is a pretty large range for how long totality can last. The shortest totality will occur during the total solar eclipse of April 14, 2200 at 1 minute 23 seconds. while the longest totality will occur on July 16, 2186 at 7 minutes 29 seconds.

During the long eclipse of 2186, the Earth will be at the farthest distance from the Sun in its orbit known as aphelion and the Moon will be at its closest distance to the Earth known as perigee. The eclipse’s shadow will also land on the Earth’s equator near the subsolar point, a location on the Earth’s surface which is the closest to the Sun. Since the Sun and Moon are in syzygy the subsolar point will also be the part of the Earth that is closest to the Moon. This will also make the Moon appear bigger in our sky and increase the duration of the eclipse. The 7 minute 29 second totality will occur in the ocean to the East of South America.

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