Total Eclipses of the Sun

Credit: NASA
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Mark these solar eclipse dates on your calendar so you don't miss any of this century's spectacles!

northern lights tripSee the Total Solar Eclipse with the Almanac!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is going on a Solar Eclipse Cruise in the Hawaiian Islands in 2016!

With Almanac astronomer Bob Berman as your guide, you’ll chase the solar eclipse—and also visit three beautiful Hawaiian islands!

Learn more about the Solar Eclipse Cruise.

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!

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Comments

On August 21, 2017, maximum

By Larry Koehn

On August 21, 2017, maximum duration of the total solar eclipse will occur in the Shawnee National Forest just south of Carbondale Illinois for 2 minutes and 44 seconds http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Eclipse2017.php . NASA's data pointing to Kentucky is out-of-date and they have not updated their eclipse information in years!

i have seen several total

By jim hart

i have seen several total eclipses awesome to view with proper eye protection

I watched an eclipse with my

By Sharonlynch

I watched an eclipse with my class in elementary school between 1965 and 1973. I was in Lafayette, CA How can I find the date and informatio about that eclipse ??

See the USNO eclipse

By Almanac Staff

See the USNO eclipse portal: http://astro.ukho.gov.uk/eclbin/query_usno.cgi 

awesome stuff comes from

By flutterbux123

awesome stuff comes from awesome authors - like you guys! wow. you blew my mind. :)

Ah, shucks. Thank you!

By Almanac Staff

Ah, shucks. Thank you!

i thought we had a solar

By deltarogers

i thought we had a solar eclipse in the early 1980's...i could swear i watched it from my home in austin, texas...am i mistaken?

There has not been a total

By Matthew Glosser

There has not been a total solar eclipse in the contiguous United States since 1979 and totality was only viewable from the Pacific Northwest ... There was, however, an annular eclipse that would have been partially viewable from Texas on August 10th, 1980. Unlike a total eclipse, you would need either eclipse glasses or a pinhole camera to view it and even then, at your location it probably would not have been very impressive. Trust me, if you've witnessed an eclipse during totality, it would not be something that you would forget. I suggest planning a trip to Kentucky in 2017 to witness a truly awe-inspiring event.

You are not mistaken about

By dawn carr

You are not mistaken about that solar eclipse. I was in college in Nacogdoches, Texas and we made the boxes for viewing. It was in the morning the best i can remember but not at daybreak.

Yes, there was a total solar

By Almanac Staff

Yes, there was a total solar eclipse in 1980 (Feb 16), 1981 (Jul 31), and 1983 (June 11). See this link for historical solar eclipse dates: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEdecade/SEdecade1981.html

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