Prediction of Angular Separation

This plot shows the variation of angular separation between Moon and Sun centers for the Yohkoh satellite, based upon M. Soma's calculations from the Yohkoh orbital ephemeris of Jan. 28, 1998. The points with asterisks show when Yohkoh is outside the Earth's shadow. The asterisks are two minute apart. The peculiar and complicated pattern (not like your usual Kansas eclipse!) is due to the rapid motion of Yohkoh in its low Earth orbit, with an altitude fluctuating between about 500 and 800 km. The horizontal dotted line shows the sum of the solar and lunar radii, so that every point below corresponds to a partial eclipse. The angular separation does not get to zero on this date, unfortunately, so once again Yohkoh has missed having a total eclipse, even though it gets three partial ones.