Eclipses

A total eclipse of the Sun occurs when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, blocking out its light. Although the entire eclipse can last a couple of hours, its spectacular total phase lasts only a few minutes. Learn more about solar eclipses.

During a lunar eclipse, the full Moon enters the shadow of Earth, which cuts off all or part of the sunlight reflected off the Moon.  Learn more about lunar terminology.

The following are the solar and lunar eclipses for the next two years:

March 8, 2016: Total Eclipse of the Sun This eclipse will not be visible from North America but will be visible from northern and eastern Asia, northern and western Australasia and Indian Ocean.

March 23, 2016: Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon This eclipse will be visible from North America. Western regions will be able to see the entire eclipse. In Eastern regions the Moon will be very close to the horizon and only the beginning of the eclipse will be visible before the Moon sets. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 5:37 A.M. EDT and will leave the penumbra at 9:57 A.M.

September 1, 2016: Annular Eclipse of the Sun This eclipse will not be visible from North America but will be visible from Africa, Indian Ocean and Antarctica.

September 16, 2016: Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon This eclipse will not be visible from North America but will be visible from Australasia, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America.

February 10, 2017: Penumbral eclipse of the Moon. This eclipse will be visible from North America. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 5:32 P.M. EST and leave it at 9:55 P.M.

February 26, 2017: Annular eclipse of the Sun This eclipse will not be visible from North America but can be viewed from the southeastern Pacific Ocean, southern half of South America, southern Africa, and Antarctica.

August 7, 2017: Partial eclipse of the Moon. This eclipse will not be visible from North America but can be seen from the western Pacific Ocean, Oceania, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, Europe, and easternmost tip of South America.

August 21, 2017: Total eclipse of the Sun This eclipse will be visible from North America. It will begin at 11:47 A.M. EDT and end at 5:04 P.M. All regions of North America will be able to view a partial eclipse at some point during this time span (exact times depend on specific locations). The total eclipse—viewable for up to 2 minutes and 40 seconds at most—will be visible only along a narrow path running southeastward from Oregon to South Carolina and crossing through parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Cities that will experience totality include Salem, OR; Lincoln, NE; Kansas City, Jefferson City, and St. Louis, MO; Nashville, TN; and Columbia and Charleston, SC. The next total solar eclipse visible from North America will occur in 2024.