When Is the Next Eclipse? | Eclipse Dates for 2020

When is the next eclipse? See eclipse dates for 2020 including solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, and transits.

In 2020, there will be four eclipses of the Moon, two eclipses of the Sun, and no transits of Mercury. Three of the eclipses will be visible from North America.

2020 Eclipse Dates

  • January 10, 2020 – Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon
    A penumbral lunar eclipse will occur on Friday, January 10, beginning at 12:06 P.M. EST (8:06 A.M. AKST) and ending at 4:14 P.M. EST (12:14 P.M. AKST). In North America, this eclipse is visible only from northwestern and eastern regions of Canada, as well as Alaska, eastern Maine, and Greenland.
     
  • June 5, 2020 – Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon
    This eclipse is not visible from North America. (The eclipse is visible only from the western Pacific Ocean and parts of Australasia, Asia, Antarctica, Europe, Africa, and South America.)
     
  • June 21, 2020 – Annular Eclipse of the Sun
    This eclipse is not visible from North America. (The annular solar eclipse is visible from parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Indonesia, and Micronesia.)
     
  • July 4-5, 2020 – Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon
    This eclipse is visible from North America, except in northernmost regions. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 11:04 P.M. EDT (8:04 P.M. PDT) on July 4 and leave the penumbra at 1:56 A.M. EDT on July 5 (10:56 P.M. PDT on July 4). Note: Only a small portion of the Moon will fall within the penumbra during this eclipse.
     
  • November 29-30, 2020 – Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon
    This eclipse is visible from North America. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 2:30 A.M. EST on November 30 (11:30 P.M. PST on November 29) and leave the penumbra at 6:56 A.M. EST (3:56 A.M. PST) on November 30.
     
  • December 14, 2020 – Total Eclipse of the Sun
    This eclipse is not visible from North America. (The eclipse is visible only from the southern Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands, and parts of South America, Antarctica, and Africa.

What Is an Eclipse?

The two types of eclipses that we witness here on Earth are solar eclipses and lunar eclipses:

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun, partially or entirely blocking out its light. Solar eclipses are visible only in certain areas and require eye protection to be viewed safely.
  • A lunar eclipse occurs when the full Moon enters the shadow of Earth, which cuts off all or part of the sunlight reflected off the Moon. Lunar eclipses are technically visible from the entire night side of Earth, but during a penumbral eclipse, the dimming of the Moon’s illumination is slight. Learn more about lunar terminology.

Not all eclipses are the same, however. There are a few different ways for lunar and solar eclipses to happen:

  • A total eclipse (of either the Moon or the Sun) occurs when the Moon or Sun is entirely blocked out.
    • During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon is completely obscured by the dark center of Earth's shadow (called the umbra), giving the Moon a dark, reddish hue.
    • During a total solar eclipse, the Sun is completely obscured by the Moon, resulting in a brief period of awe-inspiring darkness.
  • A partial eclipse (of either the Moon or the Sun) occurs when only part of the Moon or Sun is obscured. 
  • An annular eclipse is a type of solar eclipse. Annular eclipses are similar to total solar eclipses (where the Sun is completely obscured by the Moon), but in an annular eclipse, the Moon's apparent size is smaller than the Sun's, meaning that the Sun is not completely obscured. This results in a very bright ring of light called an annulus.
  • A penumbral eclipse is a type of lunar eclipse. Penumbral eclipses occur when the Moon enters only the faint outer edge of Earth's shadow (called the penumbra), which causes the Moon to appear slightly darker than usual. The effect is so slight that a penumbral eclipse can be hard to recognize unless you know to look for it! 

There is also something called a transit, which is similar to an eclipse, though not quite as visually stunning:

  • A transit occurs when one celestial body passes between a larger celestial body and a third celestial body. For example, when Mercury passes between the Sun and the Earth, this is called a transit of Mercury. Because Earth is the third planet from the Sun, we are able to observe transits of both Mercury and Venus.

2020 Eclipse Dates

June 5, 2020: Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon. This eclipse is not visible from North America. (The eclipse is visible only from the western Pacific Ocean and parts of Australasia, Asia, Antarctica, Europe, Africa, and South America.)

June 21, 2020: Annular Eclipse of the Sun. This eclipse is not visible from North America. (The annular solar eclipse is visible from parts of Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Indonesia, and Micronesia.)

July 4, 2020: Penumbral Eclipse of the Sun. This eclipse is visible from North America, except in northernmost regions. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 11:04 P.M. EDT (8:04 P.M. PDT) on July 4 and leave the penumbra at 1:56 A.M. EDT on July 5 (10:56 P.M. PDT on July 4). Note: Only a small portion of the Moon will fall within the penumbra during this eclipse.

November 29, 2020: Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon. This eclipse is visible from North America. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 2:30 A.M. EST on November 30 (11:30 P.M. PST on November 29) and leave the penumbra at 6:56 A.M. EST (3:56 A.M. PST) on November 30.

December 14, 2020: Total Eclipse of the Sun. This eclipse is not visible from North America. (The eclipse is visible only from the southern Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands, and parts of South America, Antarctica, and Africa.)