The Great American Eclipse might be over, but that just has us asking about the next eclipse. Some exciting destinations are getting ready for their own dances with darkness.
If your first thought after totality ended on August 21st was, “I need to see that again,” read on. We’ve gathered the dates, the locations, and the best observing locations for the next five total solar eclipses.
Be warned: eclipse-chasing can be expensive — and addictive. But is there any better way to see the world than by following the shadow of the Moon?
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina
After the Great American Eclipse, there’s 22½-month wait for the next total solar eclipse. On the surface of it there are many reasons to get excited about this chance at seeing totality, which will last up to 4½ minutes. Intrepid travelers with cash to burn will want to be on a cruise ship near the remote Pitcairn Islands, while stargazers will salivate at the prospect of watching from Chile’s high-altitude Elqui Valley, which is strewn with world-class telescopes and smaller “boutique” observatories. However, catching this eclipse comes with some challenges: It will be winter in the Southern Hemisphere, so there's a higher chance of clouds, and the Moon's shadow crosses South America late in the day, so the Sun-Moon pairing will be low in the sky.
Monday, December 14, 2020
South Pacific, Chile, and Argentina (again!)
If there’s an easy total solar eclipse to aim for in the next few years, it’s probably this one. A late-afternoon eclipse with up to 2 minutes 10 seconds of totality, it takes place during the good-weather month of December. By far the best place to head to is the spectacular –– and tourist-friendly –– area of Villarica and Pucón in the Chilean Lake District. With excellent fishing, boating, hiking, and hot springs, this is an ideal area for touring and eclipse-chasing.
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Antarctica, Weddell Sea
How are your sea-legs? And your wallet? Making a land expedition to Antarctica is very expensive, and the likely weather makes a clear totality unlikely. So there are two ways to maximize your chances of seeing up to 1 minute 54 seconds of totality; join a cruise ship in the vicinity of South Georgia island, or take a special eclipse flight from Chile; both will set you back several thousand dollars, though. This eclipse might be one for most of us to follow from afar, but the prospect of a beautiful totality over Antarctica will be more than enough to attract hardcore eclipse-chasers.
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Australia, Timor Leste, and West Papua
Although totality will last no more than 76 seconds, this eclipse is nevertheless a fascinating one: It’s a rare hybrid solar eclipse. At the beginning and end of the eclipse’s path, it will appear as an annular “ring of fire” eclipse, but those near the center of the track will see full totality. This situation occurs when the Moon, in its elliptical orbit around Earth, is right on the cusp of being too far away to totally eclipse the Sun. And since Earth is a sphere, the midpoint of the track is closer to the Moon by nearly 4,000 miles than the track's ends.
For eclipse-chasers, this geometry means the Baily’s beads — reams of sunlight that stream between the Moon’s mountains, visible on the limb of the Moon before and after totality — will linger for much longer than usual. The hybrid nature of the eclipse also means a high chance of shadow bands, wavy lines of alternating light and shadow on the ground just before and after totality.
The bad news? This is a mostly remote eclipse track. It just grazes Western Australia; Cape Range National Park on Exmouth Peninsula is going to be busy.
Monday, April 8, 2024
It’s a good time to be chasing eclipses in America; 2017 was the first of two total solar eclipses in just seven years. Even better, the 2024 event is technically even more impressive, with totality lasting 4 minutes 28 seconds at its peak. However, it occurs in spring when clear skies are less likely. Making landfall first in Mexico and ending in Canada (passing through Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland), the path of totality also crosses parts of 15 states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and central Maine.
Greatest duration will occur near Torreón, Mexico, and Mexico and Texas will have the greatest chance of clear skies. Dallas will receive 3 minutes 49 seconds of totality and Waco 4 minutes 13 seconds, while Austin and San Antonio are both just inside the path of totality’s southern limit.
Visit eclipsophile.com to find weather info (and hence, destination guidance) for these future eclipses.