Solar and Lunar Eclipses
On many peoples bucket lists (including mine) is seeing a Solar and Lunar eclipse, but where to see one?
They are not region or continent specific, they are not nice easy predicable annual events like lets say – St Patrick’s Day. In fact they seem to appear at completely random times in completely random places. So how do you see one?
First decide what type of Eclipse you want to see:
These occur when the sun, moon and Earth line up in a straight line with the Moon in the middle and is close enough to the Earth to block the Sun entirely. You can only see it if you are standing in the path of the Moon’s Umbra.
These are quite famous for the ‘ring of fire’ around them.
Again the sun, Earth and moon are in a straight line, but the moon is further away and cannot block the Sun so completely as it can with a Total Eclipse.
You can only see it if you are in the antumbra.
There are also Hybrid Eclipses that shift between these two states.
Partial Eclipses are when the moon only blocks a small part of the sun. They are not included in the table below.
|2015 March 20||Total||Faeroe Is, Svalbard|
|2016 March 09||Total||Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi|
|2016 September 01||Annular||Some African Countries, Madagascar, Indian Ocean|
|2017 February 26||Annular||Chile, Argentina|
|2017 August 21||Total||U.S.A|
|2019 July 02||Total||Chile, Argentina|
|2019 December 26||Annular||Saudi Arabia, India, Borneo, Sumatra|
|2020 June 21||Annular||China|
|2020 December 14||Total||Chile, Argentina|
|2021 January 10||Annular||Canada, Russia, Greenland|
|2021 December 04||Total||Antarctica|
|2023 April 20||Hybrid||Indonesia, Australia, Papua New Guinea|
|2023 October 14||Annular||Central America, Colombia, Brazil|
|2024 April 08||Total||Mexico, U.S.A, Canada|
|2024 October 02||Annular||Chile, Argentina|
|2026 February 17||Annular||Antarctica|
|2026 August 12||Total||The Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Spain|
|2027 February 06||Annular||Chile, Argentina|
|2027 August 02||Total||Morocco, Spain, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia|
|2028 January 26||Annular||Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Suriname, Spain, Portugal|
|2028 July 22||Total||Australia, New Zealand|
|2030 June 01||Annular||Algeria, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Russia|
|2030 November 25||Total||Botswana, South Africa, Australia|
Apparently watching solar eclipses can hurt your eyes. Read up on it here.
Lunar eclipses occur when the sun, earth and moon align, but in this case the earth is in the middle and blocks out the moon. These are easier to see when they do happen as they are visible to a wider surface area of the Earth.
The moon can take on many shades in a lunar Eclipse, but with Total Eclipses the moon turns red. Probably the most famous ‘Blood Moon’ is the one that appeared in 331 B.C before Alexander the Great’s Battle Of Gaugamela.
They look like this
Lunar Eclipses can be Total, Partial or Penumbral. I have included Total eclipses in the table below.
|Date||Type||Best seen where|
|2014 October 8||Total||NZ, Eastern Australia, Alaska, Japan, Pacific Islands|
|2015 April 4||Total||NZ, Australia, East Asia, North and South America|
|2015 September 28||Total||South America, North America|
|2018 January 31||Total||East Asia, Australia, Alaska, NZ|
|2018 July 27||Total||East and Central Africa, Indian Ocean, Middle East, India, Antarctica, Central Asia and China|
|2019 January 21||Total||Far West Europe, North and South America|
|2022 November 8||Total||NZ, Western Australia, Pacific Islands, Far East Russia, Japan, Alaska|
As an extra, while researching I found that meteor showers are predictable and that there are 12 major meteorite showers a year and several smaller ones. Go to this website for information on 2014’s meteor showers.
So start proactively planning how to tick your bucket list off!