Science & Environment

When is the next solar eclipse in my country?

On Tuesday, 2 July, people across Latin America will have the chance of seeing a total solar eclipse, low in the winter evening sky.

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 2 July

The total eclipse on Tuesday begins in the Pacific Ocean and be visible in the Pitcairn Islands at 10:27 local time (18:27 BST).

The path of totality will cut across Chile and Argentina, but a partial eclipse will be visible in other Latin American countries - including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela as well as the Pacific islands of Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji.

As the eclipse hits mainland Chile in the afternoon, it will be low in the evening sky. Watchers in parts of Argentina may catch a glimpse of totality, but the Sun will set before the eclipse is completely over.

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.