FE (using the Saros cycle) can indeed predict a path and date, because each pass of a Saros cycle moves by a known amount. What I believe they cannot predict - at the very least to the same degree of accuracy - is the precise times the eclipse passes over any location, and how long it stays there. That isn't something the Saros cycle would know as far as I'm aware, but NASA can in fact predict with their equations.

They really can't, in fact. The Saros cycle is a good tool to

*estimate* the eclipse timing, but tells you only the approximate longitudes where it may be visible, not the precise path. To get the path requires accuracy to the second (which the Saros cycle does not provide) and correct geometry (which the FE does not provide). The Saros cycle method doesn't tell you if the eclipse will be partial, total, annular, or hybrid. It doesn't give you duration. It doesn't give you path width.

Consider the data for the Saros cycle of the August 2017 eclipse. Here is that data:

Notice the 4th column, which gives the difference between consecutive eclipses in this Saros cycle. If one could accurately calculate it by simply adding 8 years, 11 days, and 8 hours, then that column would all have the same number in it. The reason it does not: the Saros cycle is a convenient way to categorize eclipses and to ESTIMATE their timing. To get timing accurate to the second, and a corresponding geographic accuracy, one must calculate by understanding the

orbital ephemeris of the bodies involved.