Solar Eclipse Calendar


What is a solar eclipse calendar? Not to be confused with a lunar eclipse, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon lines up precisely in front of the Earth so that the Moon blocks the Sun’s rays and the Moon’s shadow falls upon the Earth. As shown on the solar eclipse calendar below, this relatively rare occurrence only happens during a new moon, when the Earth, Moon and Sun are exactly or very closely aligned, with the Moon in the middle. The shadow cast can partially or totally cover the Moon, which can result in a total eclipse, partial eclipse or annular eclipse for Earth’s viewing pleasure. The type and length of a solar eclipse depends upon the Moon’s location relative to its orbital nodes. A total solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes and can only be viewed by those along a narrow path of the Earth’s surface.

Solar Eclipse Frequency

Solar Eclipse Calendar

Solar Eclipse Calendar

The Earth’s orbit is called the ecliptic plane as the Moon’s orbit must cross this plane in order for an eclipse (both solar as well as lunar) to occur. In addition, the Moon’s actual orbit is elliptical, often taking it far enough away from the Earth so that its apparent size is not large enough to block the Sun totally. The orbital planes cross each year at a line of nodes resulting in at least two, and up to five, solar eclipses occurring each year; no more than two of which can be total eclipses. Total solar eclipses are nevertheless rare at any particular location because totality exists only along a narrow path on the Earth’s surface traced by the Moon’s shadow or umbra.

Solar eclipses can occur 2 to 5 times per year, at least once per eclipse season. Since the Gregorian calendar was instituted in 1582, years that have had five solar eclipses were 1693, 1758, 1805, 1823, 1870, and 1935. The next occurrence will be 2206.

When is the next Solar Eclipse?

The solar eclipse calendar is a listing of all solar eclipses from 2016 through 2020. Times are expressed in Coordinated Universal Time (UT), the international basis for other time zones. The type and length of a solar eclipse depends upon the Moon’s location relative to its orbital nodes. A solar eclipse lasts for only a few minutes and can only be viewed from those located on a narrow path of the Earth’s surface. For additional solar eclipse calendar dates, please see NASA’s solar eclipse page.

ObjectTypeYearDateVisibility
Solar EclipseTotal2016Mar 8/9South/East Asia, North/West Australia, Pacific, Indian Ocean
Solar EclipseAnnular2016Sep 1South in Asia, West in Australia, Much of Africa, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Antarctica
Solar EclipseAnnular2017Feb 26South/West Africa, Much of South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Antarctica
Solar EclipseTotal2017Aug 21West in Europe, North/East Asia, North/West Africa, North America, North/West South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic
Solar EclipsePartial2018Feb 15South in South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Antarctica
Solar EclipsePartial2018Jul 13South in South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Antarctica
Solar EclipsePartial2018Aug 11North/East Europe, North/West Asia, North in North America, Atlantic, Arctic
Solar EclipsePartial2019Jan 06North/East Asia, North Pacific
Solar EclipseTotal2019Jul 02South Pacific, South America
Solar EclipseAnnular2019Dec 26Asia, Australia
Solar EclipseAnnular2020Jun 21Africa, South/East Europe, Asia
Solar EclipseTotal2020Dec 14Pacific, South in South America, Antarctica

Solar Eclipse Calendar Cycle

If the date and time of any solar eclipse are known, it is possible to predict other eclipses using eclipse cycles. The saros is probably the best known and one of the most accurate eclipse cycles. A saros lasts 6,585.3 days (a little over 18 years), which means that after this period a practically identical eclipse will occur. A saros series lasts 1226 to 1550 years and 69 to 87 eclipses, with about 40 to 60 central.

Solar Eclipse Mythology

A solar eclipse is a natural phenomenon. Nevertheless, in some ancient and modern cultures, solar eclipses have been attributed to supernatural causes or regarded as bad omens. A total solar eclipse can be frightening to people who are unaware of their astronomical explanation, as the Sun seems to disappear during the day and the sky darkens in a matter of minutes.

Popular Full Moon Calendars

Some popular full moon calendars, in addition to the Solar Eclipse Calendar, include the following: Moon Calendar 2011,Moon Calendar 2012, Moon Calendar 2013, Moon Calendar 2014, Moon Calendar 2015, Moon Calendar 2016, Moon Calendar 2017, Moon Calendar 2018, Moon Calendar 2019, Moon Calendar 2020.

You can also check out our Full Moon Calendar, Lunar Calendar, Lunar Eclipse Calendar and Solar Eclipse Calendar!