When Are the Next Solar Eclipses? 2026 Promises Totality in Europe, While Much of America Has a Decades-Long Wait

The next total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous U.S. won’t take place until August 23, 2044—but eclipse chasers will have other opportunities to experience totality before that

the eclipsed sun in the lower left of the frame shows the corona and some red bits of plasma
Tens of millions of people watched Monday's total solar eclipse. Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Tens of millions of North Americans watched in awe as the moon passed in front of the sun on Monday, temporarily obscuring its light and plunging areas located within the path of totality into darkness.

The highly anticipated total solar eclipse was just a few days ago, but many astronomy aficionados have already set their sights on the next opportunity to experience one.

Solar eclipses of any kind are relatively rare: According to NASA, 224 such eclipses have occurred or will occur during the 21st century (between the years 2001 and 2100). Of those, just 68 are total solar eclipses—or a little more than 30 percent.

That rarity is a big reason why Monday’s event was so special. Plus, the moon cast a shadow across densely populated parts of North America, with an estimated 31.6 million people living within the path of totality and another 150 million living within 200 miles of it, per NASA.

The next total solar eclipse visible from the Lower 48 won’t take place until August 23, 2044—more than 20 years from now. And it will have a much smaller footprint: The path of totality will cross through just three states, darkening skies in Montana, North Dakota and a small part of South Dakota.

A year later, on August 12, 2045, another total solar eclipse will sweep across the United States, passing over parts of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

If you can’t wait that long, don’t fret—eclipse chasers willing to travel will have other options. On March 30, 2033, a total solar eclipse will be visible from remote northwestern Alaska. But as Space.com’s Stefanie Waldek notes, this part of the state doesn’t have much infrastructure, so you’d need to do some advance planning to make that trip a reality.

The next total solar eclipse will take place August 12, 2026. It will be visible from Greenland, Iceland, Spain, Russia and Portugal. Meanwhile, some North Americans will see a partial eclipse on this day—along with people across Europe and some parts of Africa.

Outdoorsy travelers may want to head to Spain for this one, as the 2026 path of totality will pass over much of the Camino de Santiago, the network of ancient pilgrim routes that is now popular among hikers. Tour companies are already putting together itineraries for the occasion. Or, if you’d rather witness the spectacle without many other people around, you could book a more private travel experience—for example, Albatros Expeditions is taking travelers to Greenland as part of a 13-day voyage aboard its expedition ship, the Ocean Albatros.

If you have the means and the time to venture across the Atlantic, the 2026 total solar eclipse would be a good option, because Spain’s weather tends to be particularly dry at that time of year—usually with a 70 to 80 percent chance of sunshine, reports the Washington Post’s Matthew Cappucci.

Another reason to try to make that eclipse? The Perseid meteor shower will be underway.

“It’s possible that a few Perseid ‘fireballs,’ or especially bright shooting stars, will streak across the sky during totality,” writes the Washington Post.

A partial solar eclipse—when the moon appears to partly block the sun—will be visible from parts of North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America on March 29, 2025, according to NASA. Its path will cut across the northeastern United States. After that, the next opportunity to see a partial solar eclipse will be on September 21, 2025, from Oceania and Antarctica.

An annular solar eclipse will cross part of South America on October 2, 2024, then, on February 17, 2026, another annular eclipse will be visible from Antarctica. (Annular eclipses, also known as “ring of fire” eclipses, occur when the moon appears to pass in front of the middle of the sun, leaving only a thin ring of light around the edge.)

But at some point, millions or billions of years from now, total solar eclipses will no longer be visible from Earth, reports the New York Times’ Katherine Kornei. That’s because the moon is slowly spiraling away from our planet—at a rate of about 1.5 inches per year—and, eventually, it will be too distant and appear too small to fully block the sun.

It’s hard for scientists to predict exactly when that day will come, but eventually, future Earthlings will only be able to see partial and annular eclipses. So, enjoy the total solar eclipses while the planet still can.

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