Coming Solar Eclipses
A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves between the Sun and the Earth, and blocks at least part of the Sun's light to an observer somewhere on Earth. A solar eclipse can only occur during the time of new Moon, and only when the Moon is close to a node in its orbit.
Solar eclipses are thought of as being rare; but on average a solar eclipse will occur somewhere on Earth about twice a year. An eclipse may be partial, total, or annular. A total solar eclipse implies that at some point on Earth, the Moon will totally occlude the Sun's light for a short period of time. A partial eclipse occurs when part of the Sun's disc is obscured by the Moon, but implies that there is no point on the Earth's surface where the disc is totally covered. An annular eclipse is in effect a total eclipse that occurs when the Moon is sufficiently far away from the Earth in its orbit that its apparent size is too small to completely obscure the Sun's face. When this happens, a ring of fire is visible surrounding the Moon at the height of the eclipse.
A total eclipse is the most spectacular sight of the three types of eclipse, for during totality, the outer atmosphere or corona of the Sun is visible to the naked eye. This awe inspiring sight is something that will be remembered for a lifetime.
Detailed information on forthcoming solar eclipses can be found on the NASA website.
The following table lists all the solar eclipses to 2025.
|20 Mar 2015||Total||Iceland, Europe, n Africa, n Asia|
|13 Sep 2015||Partial||s Africa, s Indian, Antarctica|
|09 Mar 2016||Total||e Asia, Australia, Pacific|
|01 Sep 2016||Annular||Africa, Indian Ocean|
|26 Feb 2017||Annular||s S. America, Atlantic, Africa, Antarctica|
|21 Aug 2017||Total||N. America, n S. America|
|15 Feb 2018||Partial||Antarctica, s S. America|
|13 Jul 2018||Partial||s Australia|
|11 Aug 2018||Partial||n Europe, ne Asia|
|06 Jan 2019||Partial||ne Asia, n Pacific|
|02 Jul 2019||Total||s Pacific, S. America|
|26 Dec 2019||Annular||Asia, Australia|
|21 Jun 2020||Annular||Africa, se Europe, Asia|
|14 Dec 2020||Total||Pacific, s S. America, Antarctica|
|10 Jun 2021||Annular||n N. America, Europe, Asia|
|04 Dec 2021||Total||Antarctica, S. Africa, s Atlantic|
|30 Apr 2022||Partial||se Pacific, s S. America|
|25 Oct 2022||Partial||Europe, ne Africa, Mid East, w Asia|
|20 Apr 2023||Annular/Total||SE. Asia, E. Indies, Australia, Philippines, NZ|
|14 Oct 2023||Annular||N. America, C. America, S. America|
|08 Apr 2024||Total||N. America, C. America|
|02 Oct 2024||Annular||Pacific, s S. America|
Suggested Further Reading and References
Eclipse, by David and Carol Allen (Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1987)
Fifty Year Canon of Solar Eclipses, by Fred Espenak (NASA Reference Publication 1178, 1987)
Material prepared by Richard Thompson & John Kennewell