If you missed your chance to view the 2017 total eclipse across the US today there are others in the not-so-distant future to enjoy. From total, partial and annular solar eclipses to blood moons, we recommend where to go and when to witness these extraordinary natural phenomena for yourself. A total solar eclipse can only occur when the moon is directly between the earth and the sun. On average one totality happens somewhere on earth every 18 months, which makes it a rare and much-anticipated occurrence. The eerie sight of the sun disappearing and day becoming night is truly incredible. Unless you’re a serial eclipse chaser (yes, they really do exist), you’re unlikely to see more than one total solar eclipse in your lifetime. On average, it takes about 375 years for a total solar eclipse to happen again at the same location. When the next total solar eclipse happens on August 21, the umbra (the shadow cast when the sun is entirely blocked by the moon) will be visible in 14 US states as the path of totality stretches from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. The penumbra (partial shadow) will be visible by everyone in North America, parts of South America, Africa and Europe – including the UK. According to Timeanddate.com, this will be the first total solar eclipse visible in mainland United States since 1979. The next one will be in April 2024, but that one won’t be visible in as many locations across the US as the 2017 eclipse.
Partial solar eclipse, 15 February 2018
The further south you go, the larger proportion of the sun that will be covered so head to the tip of Chile and into the wilds of Patagonia to catch a good glimpse. The incredible dramatic landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park are breathtaking enough by themselves and a make for a fabulous spot to take in the celestial spectacle. Across the border, Argentina’s Patagonia will also be in line for the eclipse. Visit the Los Glaciares National Park to see another incredible natural wonder, the glaciers including the vast Perito Moreno glacier. It’s one of the world’s only active glaciers. Another great wilderness destination, the remote archipelago of the Falklands in the south Atlantic Ocean will also get a good view of this partial eclipse. February is a great time to visit when the weather is pleasant and wildlife viewing opportunities at their best. The eclipse will be at its maximum at 6.42pm in capital Stanley. Pop by to see the penguins on Saunders Island while you’re there – it’s home to king, rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, as well as the black-browed albatross
The southern tip of mainland Australia, the island of Tasmania and Oban on the tip of New Zealand’s South Island are the places to be to catch a glimpse of July’s partial eclipse. There are plenty of beautiful open spaces to choose from in this scenic part of the southern hemisphere. Your best bet is to head to Australia’s island state of Tasmania to see the most dramatic eclipse from land. According to Timeanddate.com, the partial eclipse will be at its maximum at 1.24pm local time in historic capital Hobart. The observation shelter at the top of Mount Wellington (4,166 feet up) will likely have spectacular views. If the weather’s not playing ball, you’ll at least get to gaze down at sweeping views over Hobart and the Derwent estuary.