Explore a map of the next 15 total solar eclipses

In case you miss this year’s solar eclipse, there are 14 more in the next 20 years

A map of mostly the eastern hemisphere shows multicolored tracks of 13 total solar eclipses over the next 20 years

This map of eclipse paths from 2024 to 2044 reveals that Australia hit the jackpot: Over just 11 years, the continent (lower right) will see four total solar eclipses — in 2028, 2030, 2037 and 2038.

Alley Interactive, A. Buki

It’s never too soon to start thinking about the next solar eclipse.

On April 8, the moon’s shadow will sweep across North America, bringing a total solar eclipse over the homes of more than 30 million people (SN: 1/4/24). But even as the shadow departs the continent in eastern Canada, the stage will be getting set for the next total eclipse. And the one after that. And the one after that.

That’s because there’s an order underpinning the mechanics that lead to any eclipse. The breathtaking celestial event is driven by the relentless, repeating rhythms of the Earth’s and moon’s motions. And that means that eclipses of all kinds — not just total solar ones — are predictable across millennia.

Thanks to that predictability, it’s possible to precisely map upcoming solar eclipses. To make this interactive map, Science News relied on NASA’s “Five millennium canon of solar eclipses” database, a detailed accounting of every solar eclipse from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 3000.

That time span encompasses nearly 12,000 solar eclipses, roughly 3,200 of which are total eclipses. Showing them all would be a bit much. Instead, we show the tracks of the next 15 total solar eclipses, from 2024 to 2044.

Credit: Alley Interactive, A. Buki; Source: F. Espenak and J. Meeus/NASA

In the map, the path for nearly every eclipse (differentiated by color) is marked with three lines: the northern- and southernmost edges of the band in which people will see a total eclipse and the centerline of that band. Along that line, totality lasts longer than near the edges. People in a wide swath to either side of each outer band will be able to see a partial eclipse.

Clicking on a path will offer up some details about that eclipse: The date, the time (in Universal Time) at which the sun will be eclipsed the longest, the duration of that maximum extent and the width of the eclipse path. And typing a city, landmark or address into the map’s search bar will zoom to that spot, so you can see if any eclipses are due to visit any of your favorite haunts.

And for this year’s eclipse, clicking on any of the white flags along the path will reveal the exact time (also in Universal Time) and duration of totality at that spot.

There is one eclipse here that is a bit unusual. That one will pass through eastern Siberia on April 9, 2043. On the map, only one line appears — the southernmost limit of totality — because the centerline doesn’t intersect with Earth’s surface. In this “noncentral eclipse,” the centerline and the whole northern half of the shadow will miss Earth entirely, cast off into the depths of space.

Hardcore eclipse fans, intent on seeing every kind imaginable, might want to plan for that one. The next noncentral total eclipse won’t happen until 2459.

Christopher Crockett is an Associate News Editor. He was formerly the astronomy writer from 2014 to 2017, and he has a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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