Mark these solar eclipse dates on your calendar so you don’t miss any of this century’s spectacles!
What is a Total Solar Eclipse?
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.
The chances of observing a total solar eclipse from your backyard are very rare; Totality exists only along a narrow path on Earth’s surface.
At any one spot on Earth, a total eclipse occurs only once every 385 years, on average!
Here are total solar eclipses visible from North America:
Total Eclipse Dates
- August 21, 2017. Makes a 185-mile-wide shadow across the continental United States from west to east.
- April 8, 2024. Visible in Canada’s Maritime provinces.
- August 23, 2044. Begins at sunrise on the Montana border and move through the Canadian Prairie provinces toward the North Pole.
- August 12, 2045. The longest total phase in U.S. history—6 minutes, crossing from west to east!
- May 11, 2078 and May 1, 2079. These two solar eclipses will both be visible in the United States. In Canada, the second one will be visible only in the Maritime provinces.
- September 14, 2099. Visible in the north-central and mid-Atlantic states, and southwestern Canada.
See a map showing the paths of totality of upcoming solar eclipses at exploratorium.edu.
Tip: Never stare at the Sun without proper eye protection! You could cause permanent harm to your eyes.
Have you ever seen a solar eclipse? If so, please share below!