Last update: December 7th, 2019 at 8:00 am
The last solar eclipse of 2014 occurred on October 23, and it was viewable by millions of people in North America. The best on-ground viewing (indirectly, for visual safety) of this partial eclipse was in Canada’s Nunavut Territory, where at the maximum – about 21:44 UTC (1:44 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time) – the solar disk was 75% covered by the moon’s shadow. Alaska had a good view as well, with about 55 % of the sun covered at maximum.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, causing the moon to cast its shadow on the Earth. A partial solar eclipse occurs when part of the sun always remains in view during the eclipse as the penumbra (shadow) of the moon passes over the Earth.
According to the NASA Eclipse Website, the penumbral shadow of this eclipse first touched the shadow of the Earth in eastern Siberia near 19:37 UTC (11:37 a.m. AKDT) on October 23, then the shadow travelled eastward, giving much of North America a view of the partial eclipse. The partial eclipse ended about 23:51 UTC (3:51 AKDT or 7:51 p.m. EDT) that same day after the penumbra passed over the East Coast of the United States.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this stunning true-color image of the eclipse shadowing the Earth on October 23 at 21:10 UTC (1:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time). It was captured just moments before the eclipse peaked in Anchorage at 21:23 UTC (1:12 p.m. AKDT). The moon’s shadow can be seen turning the clouds over Alaska a golden tan color in the northwestern section of the image while the southeastern corner remains untouched by the penumbra.
The image is centered on Denali National Park. The snow-covered triangular land mass covered seen surrounded by dark waters is the Kenai Peninsula. Black lines have been overlain on the image to delineate boundaries. The state of Alaska lies in the west, and Canada’s Yukon Territory in the east, with a bit of British Columbia seen in the far southeast section of the image.