A total eclipse of the Sun occurred on Wednesday 24 June, 1778 UT (13 Jun, 1778 Old Style), with maximum eclipse at 15:34 UT. A dramatic total eclipse plunged the Sun into darkness for 5 minutes and 52 seconds at maximum, creating an amazing spectacle for observers in a very broad path, 255 km wide at maximum. It was seen from a broad band running across Mexico and up the eastern coast of the US, and in North Africa. The partial eclipse was visible across North America, Europe, and western Africa.

The total eclipse lasted for 5 minutes and 52 seconds. Maximum eclipse was at 15:34:39 UT.

During this eclipse the Sun was 0.524° in apparent diameter, 1.6% smaller than average. The Moon was just a day past perigee, making it extremely large. At the start and end of the eclipse the Moon was 0.554°, and at maximum eclipse 0.563°, which is 6.1% larger than average; hence it covered the Sun, making this a total eclipse. The statistics page has information on the ranges of the sizes of the Sun and Moon.

This eclipse was the first total solar eclipse seen in the newly independent USA. Thomas Jefferson noted that clouds prevented viewing of the eclipse in Virginia.

Overview Map

This map sourced from NASA's Eclipse Web Site shows the visibility of the total solar eclipse. It also shows the broader area in which a partial eclipse was seen. (Click on it for the full-sized version.)

Eclipse Season and Saros Series

This eclipse season contains 2 eclipses:

This was the 32nd eclipse in solar Saros series 133.The surrounding eclipses in this Saros series are:

Eclipse Parameters

UT Date/time (max) 15:34:39 on 24 Jun UT TDT Date/time (max) 15:34:56 on 24 Jun TDT
Saros Series 133 Number in Series 31
Penumbral Magnitiude Central Magnitiude 1.0746
Gamma 0.3127 Path Width (km) 255
Delta T 0m17s Error ± 0m03s (95%)
Penumbral Duration Partial Duration
Total Duration 5m52s
Partial Rating Total Rating
Sun Distance 152100708 km (103.5%) Moon Distance 359227 km (5.6%)
Sun Diameter 0.524° Moon Diameter 0.554° - 0.563°
Perigee 19:15 on 23 Jun UT Apogee 08:24 on 6 Jul UT

Note that while all dates and times on this site (except where noted) are in UT, which is within a second of civil time, the dates and times shown in NASA's eclipse listings are in the TDT timescale.

The Sun and Moon distances are shown in km, and as a percentage of their minimum - maximum distances; hence 0% is the closest possible (Earth's perihelion, or the Moon's closest possible perigee) and 100% is the farthest (aphelion, the farthest apogee). The statistics page has information on the ranges of sizes of the Sun and Moon.

Data last updated: 2015-06-21 22:11:46 UTC.