When is the next eclipse? Find the dates and times of upcoming eclipses, 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 parts of North America.
In 2021, there will be two eclipses of the Moon, two eclipses of the Sun, and no transits of Mercury. Three of the eclipses will be visible from parts of North America.
Eclipse Dates for 2021
May 26, 2021: Total Eclipse of the Moon. This eclipse is only partially visible from North America. The best views will be from western North America; and the eclipse will also be visible from Hawaii. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 4:46 A.M. EDT (1:46 A.M. PDT) and umbra at 5:45 A.M. EDT (2:45 A.M. PDT). It will leave the umbra at 8:53 A.M. EDT (5:53 A.M. PDT) and penumbra at 9:51 A.M. EDT (6:51 A.M. PDT).
June 10, 2021: Annular Eclipse of the Sun. This eclipse is visible from northern and northeastern North America, beginning at 4:12 AM EDT and ending at 9:11 AM EDT. The time of maximum eclipse varies by location. Note that this is an annular eclipse; the Moon will never fully obscure the visible surface of the Sun—at maximum eclipse, an "annulus" (ring) around the Sun will still be visible. It is safe to view this eclipse only when using eye protection such as "eclipse glasses" or a solar filter.
November 19, 2021: Partial Eclipse of the Moon. This eclipse is visible from North America and Hawaii. The Moon will enter the penumbra at 1:00 AM EST on November 19 (10:00 PM PST, November 18) and umbra at 2:18 AM EST on November 19 (11:18 PM EST, November 18). It will leave the umbra at 5:47 AM EST (2:47 AM PST) and penumbra at 7:06 AM EST (4:06 AM PST) on November 19.
December 4, 2021: Total Eclipse of the Sun. This eclipse is not visible from North America. (It will be visible from the Falkland Islands, the southern tip of Africa, Antarctica, and southeasternmost Australia.)
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.