Solar Eclipse Calendar

What is a 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 2010 through 2015. 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.

Solar Eclipse Year Date Duration Geographic Visability
Annular 2010 Jan 15 11m08s Africa, Asia
Total 2010 Jul 11 05m20s s S. America
Partial 2011 Jan 04 Europe, Africa, c Asia
Partial 2011 Jun 01 e Asia, n N. America, Iceland
Partial 2011 Jul 01 s Indian Ocean
Partial 2011 Nov 25 s Africa, Antarctica, Tasmania, N.Z.
Annular 2012 May 20 05m46s Asia, Pacific, N. America
Total 2012 Nov 13 04m02s Australia, N.Z., s Pacific, s. S. America
Annular 2013 May 10 06m03s Australia, N.Z., c Pacific
Hybrid 2013 Nov 03 01m40s e Americas, s Europe, Africa
Annular 2014 Apr 29 s Indian, Australia, Antarctica
Partial 2011 Oct 23 n Pacific, N. America
Total 2015 Mar 20 02m47s Iceland, Europe, n Africa, n Asia
Partial 2015 Sep 13 s Africa, s Indian, 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.

Moon Phases, Full Moons and Moon Calendars

As the Moon orbits Earth, it changes phase in an orderly way. Follow these links to understand the various phases of the moon.

Full Moons

Full Moon | Full Moon Names | Blue Moon | Wolf Moon | Snow Moon | Worm Moon | Pink Moon | Flower Moon | Strawberry Moon | Buck Moon | Sturgeon Moon | Harvest Moon | Hunters Moon | Beaver Moon | Cold Moon |

Moon Phases

Understanding Moon Phases | New Moon | Waxing Crescent Moon | First Quarter Moon | Waxing Gibbous Moon | Full Moon | Waning Gibbous Moon | Last Quarter Moon | Waning Crescent Moon |

Moon Calendars

Full Moon Calendar | Lunar Calendar | Lunar Eclipse Calendar | Solar Eclipse Calendar | Full Moon Calendar 2011 | Full Moon Calendar 2012 | Full Moon Calendar 2013 | Full Moon Calendar 2014 | Full Moon Calendar 2015 | Full Moon Calendar 2016 | Full Moon Calendar 2017 | Full Moon Calendar 2018 | Full Moon Calendar 2019 | Full Moon Calendar 2020 |

Eclipses & Moon Facts

Lunar Eclipse | Solar Eclipse | Solar Eclipse vs. Lunar Eclipse | Facts About The Moon |