In 11 days, a “ring of fire” solar eclipse annular solar eclipse, one of the four types of solar eclipse– Will be visible across Africa and Asia. The next such solar eclipse will take place in North America.
On June 10, 2021, a huge partial solar eclipse will be visible across North America, but from parts of Canada (as well as from Greenland and Russia) a “ring” will be visible around the Sun.
It will be the first of three solar eclipses that will kick off three out of four years that will culminate in the “Great North American Eclipse” of April 8, 2024.
In fact, following the “Great American Eclipse” of August 21, 2017, North America obtains four central solar eclipses in just seven years.
Here’s what will happen, when and where:
- An annular solar eclipse: June 10, 2021 in Greenland, Canada and Russia (and a huge partial solar eclipse across North America)
- An annular solar eclipse: October 14, 2023 in the United States and Mexico (and a huge partial solar eclipse across North America)
- A total solar eclipse: April 8, 2024 in the United States and Mexico (and a huge partial solar eclipse across North America)
Let’s take each eclipse in turn and find out exactly where you need to be to get the best view and experience, as the new book (and my new favorite) reveals “Atlas of solar eclipses – 2020 to 2045.” (thanks to Michael Zeiler for permission to publish images of the book).
1 – A “ring of fire” for polar bears
When: Thursday June 10, 2021
Where: Canada, Greenland and Russia
Maximum duration of the “ring of fire”: 3 minutes 51 seconds
It is the most difficult of the three solar eclipses to come to North America, as the “ring of fire” is only visible in the isolated wilderness of the far north of Ontario, Canada.
Of Polar Bear Provincial Park In Thunder Bay, a long “ring of fire” of a 3-minute, 33-second annular solar eclipse will nonetheless be an incredible sight, although more easily seen from a small plane above forests and clouds.
Meanwhile, the rest of North America will see a mighty large partial solar eclipse before breakfast.
2 – A “ring of fire” eclipse across the western United States
When: Saturday October 14, 2023
Where: United States, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Brazil.
Maximum duration of the “ring of fire”: 5 minutes 17 seconds
A trip to an American national park is always a treat, but add a long “ring of fire” and the occasion is unavoidable. A heating of the “Great North American Eclipse” barely six months later, this annular solar eclipse – when 95% of the Sun is covered – will be visible from:
- Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
- Capital Reef National Park, Utah
- Parawan Gap Petroglyphs, Utah
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
- Canyonlands National Park, Utah
- Four Corner Monument, Utah / Colorado / New Mexico / Arizona
- Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado
- Hand painted Pueblo, Colorado
Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Roswell, San Antonio and Corpus Christi will also offer great views of a “ring of fire”.
3 – The “great North American eclipse”
When: Monday April 8, 2024
Where: Mexico, United States and Canada
Maximum total duration: 4 minutes 28 seconds
It’s the big one, but you have to be in the right place to make the most of this unique solar eclipse in North America (the next very large total solar eclipse in North America is not until 2045). A 100 mile wide “whole path” – the shadow of the Moon – will pass through more than 15 states in the United States. It could be viewed by 50 million people.
It is only within this path that eclipse hunters will be able to see and experience the wonders of the whole; rapid drop in temperature, rapid gathering of darkness, magnificent “diamond rings” falling around the Moon and a few minutes to capture the outer atmosphere of the Sun – the solar crowned—The spill into space.
Here’s where to see it:
- Mexico (better weather forecast): Sinaloa, Durango and Coahuila
- United States (easiest travel options): Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
- Canada: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
However, dig into these places and you get these 10 great places to discover all of:
- Mazatlán on the Pacific coast of Mexico (see “first night”)
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas
- Austin, Texas
- Dallas, Texas
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Terrapin Point, Niagara Falls
- Montreal, Canada
“The United States went through a very long dry period of 38 years without an eclipse until 2017,” said Fred Espenak, an American astronomer and eclipse hunter who runs MrEclipse.com. “Now, just under eight years later, we have the total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024, followed by several other totals in two decades.”
Espenak alludes to the fact that after the “great North American eclipse” of 2024, several other total solar eclipses are visible from the United States.
- March 30, 2033: Alaska
- August 23, 2044: Montana, North Dakota in the United States and the Northwest Territories and Alberta in Canada
- August 12, 2045: California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
“There are three total solar eclipses over a period of 25 years,” said Espenak. “It’s the luck of the draw in the sense that it just takes a chance to be in the right place at the right time, but these things can be predicted with great accuracy.”
However, it’s not just North America that is now in the midst of a solar eclipse frenzy. Australia probably has an even higher number of totalities, five of which are visible from the “lucky country” in just 15 years – 2023, 2028, 2030, 2037 and 2038.
Warning: I am the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com and co-author of several eclipse travel guides.
I wish you a clear sky and big eyes.