Countdown to Heartland Eclipse 2017: Predicting a solar eclipse - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Countdown to Heartland Eclipse 2017: Predicting a solar eclipse

(KFVS) -

Astronomers are saying we can expect 2 minutes and nearly 40 seconds of totality on August 21 when the region experiences the first total solar eclipse in hundreds of years.

How do you predict a solar eclipse?

As far as we can tell, the first eclipses were predicted by the astronomers who lived in the area around what is now Iraq.

The basic idea is to figure out the moon's shadow on a plane that crosses the Earth's center. Next, project it on the orb that is the Earth's surface.

The current model was created by a Prussian astronomer and mathematician named Frederick Bessel in 1824, and the formulas used in the equation Bessellian elements.

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