Is There Any Place on Earth Where a Total Solar Eclipse is Impossible?

If so, I’m guessing it’s one or both of the poles.

The bottom of Carlsbad Caverns? :smiley:

According to NASA’s Javascript Eclipse Calculator, the next total solar eclipse to be visible at the North Pole will be on March 20, 2015; at the South Pole, January 16, 2094. They do seem to be rare, though: according to that same site, though, the last total solar eclipse to occur at the North pole was in 1815, and the last one at the South pole was over 1600 years ago — A.D. 379. (There have been a bunch of annular eclipses there during that time, though.)

So in general, I doubt that there’s going to be any point on Earth that eclipses won’t be observable from.

Are total eclipses restricted in latitude?

Earthling’s link has decayed, so here’s another:
The 2003 Antarctic Total Solar Eclipse

Thinking it over, there’s no reason why even the Poles should be exempted from total eclipses; most months, the New Moon’s shadow does pass “over” or “under” the Earth, so its possible range comfortably exceeds the Earth’s polar diameter.

As I believe I’ve pointed out on the Dope before, not only are no places exempt, thinking statistically the frequency of visible solar eclipses is actually more or less the same for all points on the surface of the Earth. There are various latitude effects involved, but these largely cancel out. Thus, on average, any particular point sees a total eclipse once in 375 years and an annular one once in 224 years.

See chapter 27 of Owen Gingerich’s The Great Copernicus Chase (Cambridge, 1992) for a discussion and references.

Eclipse map, 2001-2025.

That’s a cool map - thanks!

Here’s a more-or-less related thread Moon Visability - Factual Questions - Straight Dope Message Board

If you can’t see the Moon from a particular spot, yuo can’t see the eclipse.

To answer the OP, it would depend on how much “wobble” there is in the earth’s and moon’s orbits. If sun, moon and earth were all in the same plane and all orbits were circular, eclipses would be regular and over the same spots (centered on the equator) every time. In fact, every new moon would also be a solar eclipse, so Equatorians would see one every 28.5 days and North Polarians, never.

Since, IRL, orbits are elipses and orbital planes not that perfectly aligned, we have irregularities and a shortage of eclipses.

Someone more astronomically inclined than I would have to tell us if the wobble is enough to make an eclipse visible from the poles, but from the map I linked to, it looks like some come pretty close.

Sorry to steal my own thunder, but that’s what you get for reading Weird Earl’s.

Nitpick: for this to be the case, the Earth’s rotation axis would also have the be perpendicular to the plane of rotation. Otherwise, folks anywhere between the two tropics could conceivably see an eclipse.

Not a nitpick at all, but an important condition. I should have included a perpendicular earthly axis to my hypothetical, circular, planar, regular orbital model.