A total eclipse of the Sun occurs on Friday 17 December, 2066 UT, lasting from 21:47 on 16 Dec–02:55 UT. A dramatic total eclipse will plunge the Sun into darkness for 3 minutes and 14 seconds at maximum, creating an amazing spectacle for observers in a path up to 152 km wide. It will be seen in far south-western Australia, the southern part of New Zealand's Stewart Island / Rakiura, and the south Pacific. The partial eclipse will be visible in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The timings of the phases of the overall eclipse worldwide are as follows. In any particular place it will be seen for a significantly shorter duration as the shadow moves across the Earth:

Partial eclipse begins: 21:47:45 on 16 Dec UT
Total eclipse begins: 22:46:08 on 16 Dec UT
Maximum eclipse: 00:21:27 UT
Total eclipse ends: 01:56:49 UT
Partial eclipse ends: 02:55:08 UT

During this eclipse the Sun will be 0.542° in apparent diameter, 1.6% larger than average. The Moon will be just a day before perigee, making it extremely large. At the start and end of the eclipse the Moon will be 0.555°, and at maximum eclipse 0.564°, which is 6.3% larger than average; hence it will cover the Sun, making this a total eclipse. The statistics page has information on the ranges of the sizes of the Sun and Moon.

Australia

The eclipse begins in the Indian Ocean, and makes landfall in south-western Australia south of Perth at around 22:53 on 16 Dec UT. The southern edge of the path of totality misses the land, but the centreline crosses from north of Augusta to William Bay; with the path of totality being 124 km (77.1 miles) wide, a total eclipse will be seen in Busselton (short-lived), Bridgetown and Mount Barker (both on the very edge), and Albany. The best view will be on the centreline, where the total eclipse will last 1 minute 50 seconds.

Just about the last sighting of the eclipse in Australia will, appropriately, be from Eclipse Island; the island is named for Captain George Vancouver's observation of the total solar eclipse of 27 September, 1791, though he only witnessed a partial eclipse, albeit a very deep one. On this occasion, the island will see a total eclipse lasting one minute 49 seconds; the island will also witness the total eclipse of May 2077. After this, the total eclipse passes out into the southern ocean, south of Australia and Tasmania.

New Zealand

New Zealand unfortunately misses most of the eclipse. Only part of the total eclipse path touches the southern half of Stewart Island; the best viewpoint will be the southernmost tip of the island, where a total eclipse lasting 2 minutes 33 seconds will be seen around 00:07 UT. This is a spectacular eclipse, though on the centreline, south of the island, the duration will be 3 minutes 12 seconds.

After this the eclipse curves out to sea, south of the Pitcairn Islands, and ends over open water.

Interactive Map

This map shows the visibility of the eclipse. The shaded area will see the total solar eclipse; however, near the edges of this area, the eclipse will be very short. The bold line shows the centre of the path, where the eclipse will last longest, so this is where you want to be if possible.

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 will be seen. (Click on it for the full-sized version.)

Eclipse Season and Saros Series

This eclipse season contains 2 eclipses:

This is the 48th eclipse in solar Saros series 133.The surrounding eclipses in this Saros series are:

Eclipse Parameters

UT Date/time (max) 00:21:32 on 17 Dec UT TDT Date/time (max) 00:23:40 on 17 Dec TDT
Saros Series 133 Number in Series 47
Penumbral Magnitiude Central Magnitiude 1.0416
Gamma -0.4043 Path Width (km) 152
Delta T 2m08s Error ± 0m47s (95%)
Penumbral Duration Partial Duration
Total Duration 3m14s
Partial Rating Total Rating
Sun Distance 147230094 km (2.8%) Moon Distance 358526 km (4.2%)
Sun Diameter 0.542° Moon Diameter 0.555° - 0.564°
Apogee 07:43 on 5 Dec UT Perigee 18:57 on 17 Dec UT
Contact p1 21:47:45 on 16 Dec UT Contact p2
Contact u1 22:46:08 on 16 Dec UT Contact u2 22:47:37 on 16 Dec UT
Max eclipse 00:21:27 on 17 Dec UT
Contact u3 01:55:18 on 17 Dec UT Contact u4 01:56:49 on 17 Dec UT
Contact p3 Contact p4 02:55:08 on 17 Dec 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.