A total eclipse of the Sun occurred on Thursday 26 February, 1998 UT, lasting from 14:50–20:06 UT. A dramatic total eclipse plunged the Sun into darkness for 4 minutes and 9 seconds at maximum, creating an amazing spectacle for observers in a path up to 151 km wide. It was seen from the Galápagos Islands, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Aruba, Curacao, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, and Guadeloupe. The partial eclipse was visible in the southern USA, Central America, and northern South America.

The timings of the phases of the overall eclipse worldwide are as follows. In any particular place it would have been seen for a significantly shorter duration as the shadow moved across the Earth:

Partial eclipse began: 14:50:25 UT
Total eclipse began: 15:46:47 UT
Maximum eclipse: 17:28:25 UT
Total eclipse ended: 19:09:59 UT
Partial eclipse ended: 20:06:19 UT

During this eclipse the Sun was 0.538° in apparent diameter, 1.0% larger than average. The Moon was just a day before perigee, making it very large. At the start and end of the eclipse the Moon was 0.553°, and at maximum eclipse 0.562°, which is 5.9% 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.

Interactive Map

This map shows the visibility of the eclipse. The shaded area saw the total solar eclipse; however, near the edges of this area, the eclipse was very short. The bold line shows the centre of the path, where the eclipse lasted longest.

Use the zoom controls to zoom in and out; hover your mouse over any point on the centreline to see the time and duration of the eclipse at that point. You can pan and zoom the map to see detail for any part of the eclipse path.

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 51st eclipse in solar Saros series 130.The surrounding eclipses in this Saros series are:

Eclipse Parameters

UT Date/time (max) 17:28:24 on 26 Feb UT TDT Date/time (max) 17:29:27 on 26 Feb TDT
Saros Series 130 Number in Series 50
Penumbral Magnitiude Central Magnitiude 1.0441
Gamma 0.2391 Path Width (km) 151
Delta T 1m03s Error ± 0m00s (95%)
Penumbral Duration Partial Duration
Total Duration 4m09s
Partial Rating Total Rating
Sun Distance 148137332 km (21.6%) Moon Distance 360196 km (7.5%)
Sun Diameter 0.538° Moon Diameter 0.553° - 0.562°
Apogee 14:45 on 15 Feb UT Perigee 19:54 on 27 Feb UT
Contact p1 14:50:25 on 26 Feb UT Contact p2
Contact u1 15:46:47 on 26 Feb UT Contact u2 15:48:16 on 26 Feb UT
Max eclipse 17:28:25 on 26 Feb UT
Contact u3 19:08:27 on 26 Feb UT Contact u4 19:09:59 on 26 Feb UT
Contact p3 Contact p4 20:06:19 on 26 Feb 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.