A Guide to Upcoming Solar Eclipses

As one of Earth’s most spectacular natural events, witnessing a total solar eclipse is an experience like no other. So whether it’s always been on your bucket list or you’re looking for some inspiration for your next adventure, here we’ve put together a guide to the upcoming solar eclipses.

Solar Eclipse
A total solar eclipse

What is a total solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between us and the sun, temporarily blocking out the sunlight as the moon casts a shadow onto Earth. This is so impressive as the moon appears to be the same size as the sun, despite being 400 times smaller than it. The sky becomes incredibly dark, as though it were nighttime, in an awe-inspiring experience lasting only a few minutes.

Near the beginning and end of these events, a thin slice of the sun is visible. However, this appears broken up into beads of light as the edge of the moon is jagged with mountain peaks and valleys rather than smooth as we often imagine it. When just one bead of light is visible, the effect is likened to a diamond ring.

While there are three types of solar eclipses, a total solar eclipse only happens when the sun, moon and Earth are in a direct line and the moon is a certain distance from the Earth. During partial and annular solar eclipses, the moon doesn’t block the entire view of the sun.

When and where are the next total solar eclipses?

While a total solar eclipse is visible from somewhere approximately every 18 months, they’re still incredibly rare events. On average, the same location on Earth will only see a total solar eclipse every 375 years. So they really are a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As the moon’s shadow isn’t very big, a total solar eclipse is also only visible from a small area on Earth. Here are the dates, times and locations for the upcoming solar eclipses:

Patagonia (Chile and Argentina) - Monday 14th December 2020

Partial eclipse start: 10:33:55
Full eclipse start: 11:32:34
Max. eclipse: 13:13:28
Full eclipse ends: 14:54:18
Partial eclipse ends: 15:53:03
*The times shown here are local times in Bariloche

South Atlantic Ocean (Antarctica) - Saturday 4th December 2021

Partial eclipse start: 05:29:16
Full eclipse start: 07:00:04
Max. eclipse: 07:33:26
Full eclipse ends: 08:06:32
Partial eclipse ends: 09:37:26
*The times shown here are UTC times in Antarctica

See Also

For more information about visiting Argentina and Antarctica, check out the rest of our travel guide resources:

Argentina Travel Tips and Useful Info – all you need to know before you go
Best Places to Visit in Argentina – top 10 destinations to visit
Best Time to Visit Argentina – seasons and weather
Antarctica Travel Tips and Useful Info – spending money, internet access and more
Best Places to Visit in Antarctica – top destinations to include in your itinerary
Best Time to Visit Antarctica – climate information