Sat. Jan 28th, 2023
So you won't see the eclipse today...

Despite all the hype surrounding Monday’s solar eclipse — and it’s become almost inescapable — most Americans won’t see the totality. That’s a pity, because the sun disappearing in the middle of the day is truly a moving experience. But if you don’t see it today, don’t feel too bad – you’re not alone.

Only about 12 million people live within the 70-mile-wide path of totality that runs across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. According to various estimates, an additional 1.8 to 7.4 million people will enter the path of totality to see the eclipse. This means that only about 6 percent of the U.S. population will experience a total solar eclipse on Monday.

So if you miss something, rest assured that most other Americans are too. Also, start planning ahead. Because while it’s been nearly a century since a total solar eclipse spanned the mainland United States, we won’t be waiting that long again. Here’s a look at what lies ahead.

2023 annular solar eclipse

Unlike a total solar eclipse, during an annular solar eclipse the moon is slightly further from the Earth and therefore does not eclipse the entire star. This leaves a “ring of fire” around the moon. And while this is quite spectacular, it’s not quite as moving as a total solar eclipse. However, much of the western and southwestern United States will have a good chance of seeing an annular solar eclipse in just six years, on October 14, 2023.

Largest solar eclipse map for the 2023 event.
Enlarge / Largest solar eclipse map for the 2023 event.

EclipseWise. com

2024 total solar eclipse

The country’s next chance to see a total solar eclipse comes in less than seven years, on April 8, 2024. This will be another major event for the United States, with some areas (e.g., Carbondale, Illinois) actually seeing their second total solar eclipse. in just seven years. This is the event to start planning now, if you’re totally jealous of missing Monday.

Path of totality in April 2024.
Enlarge / Path of totality in April 2024.

EclipseWise. com

2045 total solar eclipse

Granted, this one requires a bit more plan ahead. This solar eclipse on August 12, 2045 is essentially a repeat of Monday’s solar eclipse, but with the path of totality a few hundred miles to the south. This makes for an exceptional view from California to Florida, and the inhabitants of the lunar colony will also see a good show when they look back to Earth. (Hey, we can hope humans have returned to the moon by then, right?)

Path of totality for the 2045 event.
Enlarge / Path of totality for the 2045 event.

EclipseWise. com

In addition to these three events, more eclipses are ahead. A total solar eclipse will cross extreme southern Texas, Louisiana and Florida in 2052 (expect quite a party in the Big Easy). More regional solar eclipses will affect parts of the United States in the second half of the century.

What seems clear is that the United States is entering a golden age of eclipses, with three total solar eclipses crossing much of the continental United States from 2017 to 2045. Do yourself a favor and make plans to see at least one.

By akfire1

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