When is the next solar eclipse?

The last total solar eclipse in North America occurred on August 21, 2017
The image shows a solar eclipse. — Unsplash
The image shows a solar eclipse. — Unsplash

Get ready for an extraordinary celestial show this spring — a total solar eclipse, a rare and captivating natural event. Here's your ultimate guide to the upcoming eclipse.

When will the next total solar eclipse occur?

Mark your calendars for Monday, April 8, 2024, when daylight turns to darkness, unveiling the sun's magnificent corona for a fleeting moment. The spectacle will grace parts of Mexico, the US, and Canada. The precise timing depends on your location in North America.

What to expect

During "totality", witness the sun completely hidden by the moon. The "path of totality" is the narrow strip where this breathtaking sight is visible. It's essentially the trajectory of the moon's shadow across Earth, specifically where the darkest part of the shadow, called the umbra, falls. To witness this cosmic event, you must be within this zone.

Read more: 2024 eclipse — A rare celestial event to witness

On April 8, 2024, the path will span around 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) in length and about 115 miles (185 km) wide. Starting from northwest Mexico, it will journey across parts of various US states and Canadian provinces.

When was the last total solar eclipse in America?

The last total solar eclipse in North America occurred on August 21, 2017, while the next for the contiguous US is expected on August 23, 2044.

What are total solar eclipses

These remarkable occurrences stem from a cosmic coincidence — the moon's size in our sky aligning with the sun's apparent size. When the New Moon passes between Earth and the sun, it results in eclipse seasons, offering partial, annular, and total solar eclipses.

While partial eclipses happen more frequently, total solar eclipses occur approximately every 18 months worldwide. However, viewing two total eclipses from the same location might take centuries.

Duration-wise, a full eclipse spans about three hours, but the spellbinding totality lasts mere seconds to a maximum of 7.5 minutes.

Remember, proper eye protection like eclipse glasses is crucial during the partial phases. But during totality, it's safe to gaze at the spectacle with the naked eye if you're within the path.

Embrace this rare astronomical phenomenon safely and witness nature's incredible spectacle during the 2024 total solar eclipse.