Science & Environment

When is the next solar eclipse in my country?

On 21 August 2017 millions of Americans witnessed one of the biggest solar eclipses in almost 100 years.

There are usually two solar eclipses on Earth per year, and they only happen when the Sun, Earth and Moon align in specific ways.

Try our solar eclipse calculator and see how long you'll have to wait for the next one to happen in your country.

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The calculator displays the date of the next solar eclipse of any kind observable in your country. Not every eclipse is visible from every part of a country.

Total solar eclipse on 21 August

The total eclipse on Monday began in the north eastern Pacific Ocean and made landfall at Lincoln Beach, Oregon at 10:16 local time (18:16 BST).

The path of totality swept across North America in approximately 90 mins, crossing Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Other states as well as Canada and many countries in Central and South America experienced significant partial eclipse.

A partial eclipse was also be visible in parts of West Africa and western Europe, but in most of the UK barely 4% of the sun was obscured, from about 20:00 BST.

How solar eclipses happen

Solar eclipses only occur when the moon is directly positioned between the sun and the Earth.

These conditions happen about once a month, but due to the moon's tilted orbit it is usually too high or too low in the sky to directly block the sun's light.

But when the moon is in exactly the right place, it blocks the light from the sun and casts a shadow on the earth for a brief period of time.

The darkest part of the shadow is known as the umbra, and this causes the most dramatic effect - a total solar eclipse.

The outer part is known as the penumbra, where only a portion of the sun's light is obscured. This creates conditions for a partial solar eclipse.

Produced by: Joy Roxas, Alison Benjamin, Tom Housden, Paul Rincon, Evisa Terziu and Alice Grenie.