Everything You Need to Know About Eclipse of The Sun

When you hear someone say eclipse of the Sun, what comes to your mind? Learn more about solar eclipse, lunar eclipse, and solar eclipse calendar 2011-2030.

When you hear the word eclipse (eclipse of the Sun, lunar eclipse, total & partial eclipse) what comes to your mind? An eclipse happens when a planet or a moon gets in the way of the sun’s light.

This quick article presents you with information about eclipse of the Sun:

What is Eclipse of the Sun?

Eclipse of the Sun or solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth.

That means during the day, the moon moves over the sun and it gets dark. In other words the sun, moon and earth line up, with the moon in the middle.

solar eclipse of the sun
Solar Eclipse – Image illustration by Exploratium

Isn’t it strange that it gets dark in the middle of the day?

A total eclipse of the sun occurs when the Moon’s apparent diameter is larger than the Sun’s, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness.

The sun’s 864,000-mile diameter is fully 400 times greater than that of the moon, which measures just about 2,160 miles.

But the moon also happens to be about 400 times closer to Earth than the sun (the ratio varies as both orbits are elliptical), and as a result, when the orbital planes intersect and the distances align favorably, the new moon can appear to completely blot out the disk of the sun.

There are actually two types of shadows: the umbra is that part of the shadow where all sunlight is blocked out. The umbra takes the shape of a dark, slender cone. It is surrounded by the penumbra, a lighter, funnel-shaped shadow from which sunlight is partially obscured.

Total Solar eclipse occurs about every year and a half somewhere on Earth. A partial eclipse of the sun occurs when the moon doesn’t completely cover the sun and it happens at least twice in a year someplace on Earth.

What is Lunar Eclipse?

Lunar eclipse also referred to as eclipse of the moon occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned, with the earth in the middle blocking sunlight from reaching the Moon.

During this moment, the moon can also look reddish. The reddening of the moon, or the blood moon phenomenon, is due to light from the sun being scattered by Earth’s atmosphere.

The light traveling from the sun to the edges of the Earth is forced to pass through thick layers of Earth’s atmosphere. Sunlight bending through the atmosphere and absorbing other colors is also why sunsets are orange and red.

During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is shining from all the sunrises and sunsets occurring on Earth!

Lunar Eclipse Diagram
Lunar eclipse diagram by airandspace.si.edu

Remembering the Difference Between Solar & Lunar Eclipse

It’s easy to get these two types of eclipses mixed up. An easy way to remember the difference is in the name.

The name tells you what gets darker when the eclipse happens. In eclipse of the sun, the sun gets darker. In a lunar eclipse, the moon gets darker.

What Do You See During a Total Eclipse of the Sun?

If you’re in the path of the total solar eclipse, you should know you’re about to experience a rare moment!

According to Vox the first thing you’re going to see is a partial eclipse: the moon slowly starting to obscure the sun. For most of the country, this is all you’ll see. It’s pretty cool.

solar eclipse of the sunSijori Images / Barcroft India / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

During a partial solar eclipse, shadows form eerie crescent shapes.

fdecomite / Flickr

When totality nears, that’s when the show really begins. There are a couple of awesome phenomena that you can look out for.

Right before totality, the last glimpse of light from the sun will form a “diamond ring” in the sky.

Solar eclipse of the sunSSPL/Getty Images

You’ll also be able to see “Baily’s beads” (named after astronomer Francis Baily) — bits of light poking through canyons and craters on the roughed-up surface of the moon.

solar eclipse of the sunSSPL/Getty Image

Then comes totality: The moon is fully covering the sun.

Related: 12 things that would happen if the sun disappeared

Depending on your location, this will last for about two minutes (in other eclipses, it has lasted for as long as seven).

solar eclipse of the sun image
solar eclipse of the sun image

WARNING! Eye Safety During Solar Eclipse

Permanent eye damage can result from looking at the disk of the Sun directly, or through a camera viewfinder, or with binoculars or a telescope even when only a thin crescent of the Sun or Baily’s Beads remain.

The 1 percent of the Sun’s surface still visible is about 10,000 times brighter than the full moon. Staring at the Sun under such circumstances is like using a magnifying glass to focus sunlight onto tinder.

The retina is delicate and irreplaceable. There is little or nothing a retinal surgeon will be able to do to help you.

Never look at the Sun outside of the total phase of an eclipse unless you have adequate eye protection.

Important Dates – Solar Eclipse Calendar From 2011 – 2030

First the next Total Solar Eclipse Will be on Monday, August 21, which will cut through the United States. Learn more.

Eclipse of The Sun Calendar

The table below by EclipseWise lists every solar eclipse from 2011 through 2030. Click on the eclipse Calendar Date to see a global map showing where the eclipse is visible from.

Eclipses of the Sun: 2011 – 2030
Calendar Date TD of Greatest Eclipse Eclipse Type Saros Series Eclipse Magnitude Central Duration Geographic Region of Eclipse Visibility
2011 Jan 04 08:51:42 Partial 151 0.858 Europe, Africa, c Asia
2011 Jun 01 21:17:18 Partial 118 0.601 e Asia, n N. America, Iceland
2011 Jul 01 08:39:30 Partial 156 0.097 s Indian Ocean
2011 Nov 25 06:21:24 Partial 123 0.905 s Africa, Antarctica, Tasmania, N.Z.
2012 May 20 23:53:53 Annular 128 0.944 05m46s Asia, Pacific, N. America
[Annular: China, Japan, Pacific, w U.S.]
2012 Nov 13 22:12:55 Total 133 1.050 04m02s Australia, N.Z., s Pacific, s S. America
[Total: n Australia, s Pacific]
2013 May 10 00:26:20 Annular 138 0.954 06m03s Australia, N.Z., c Pacific
[Annular: n Australia, Solomon Is., c Pacific]
2013 Nov 03 12:47:36 Hybrid 143 1.016 01m40s e Americas, s Europe, Africa
[Hybrid: Atlantic, c Africa]
2014 Apr 29 06:04:32 Annular 148 0.987 s Indian, Australia, Antarctica
[Annular: Antarctica]
2014 Oct 23 21:45:39 Partial 153 0.811 n Pacific, N. America
2015 Mar 20 09:46:47 Total 120 1.045 02m47s Iceland, Europe, n Africa, n Asia
[Total: n Atlantic, Faeroe Is, Svalbard]
2015 Sep 13 06:55:19 Partial 125 0.788 s Africa, s Indian, Antarctica
2016 Mar 09 01:58:19 Total 130 1.045 04m09s e Asia, Australia, Pacific
[Total: Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Pacific]
2016 Sep 01 09:08:02 Annular 135 0.974 03m06s Africa, Indian Ocean
[Annular: Atlantic, c Africa, Madagascar, Indian]
2017 Feb 26 14:54:32 Annular 140 0.992 00m44s s S. America, Atlantic, Africa, Antarctica
[Annular: Pacific, Chile, Argentina, Atlantic, Africa]
2017 Aug 21 18:26:40 Total 145 1.031 02m40s N. America, n S. America
[Total: n Pacific, U.S., s Atlantic]
2018 Feb 15 20:52:33 Partial 150 0.599 Antarctica, s S. America
2018 Jul 13 03:02:16 Partial 117 0.336 s Australia
2018 Aug 11 09:47:28 Partial 155 0.737 n Europe, ne Asia
2019 Jan 06 01:42:38 Partial 122 0.715 ne Asia, n Pacific
2019 Jul 02 19:24:07 Total 127 1.046 04m33s s Pacific, S. America
[Total: s Pacific, Chile, Argentina]
2019 Dec 26 05:18:53 Annular 132 0.970 03m39s Asia, Australia
[Annular: Saudi Arabia, India, Sumatra, Borneo]
2020 Jun 21 06:41:15 Annular 137 0.994 00m38s Africa, se Europe, Asia
[Annular: c Africa, s Asia, China, Pacific]
2020 Dec 14 16:14:39 Total 142 1.025 02m10s Pacific, s S. America, Antarctica
[Total: s Pacific, Chile, Argentina, s Atlantic]
2021 Jun 10 10:43:06 Annular 147 0.943 03m51s n N. America, Europe, Asia
[Annular: n Canada, Greenland, Russia]
2021 Dec 04 07:34:38 Total 152 1.037 01m54s Antarctica, S. Africa, s Atlantic
[Total: Antarctca]
2022 Apr 30 20:42:36 Partial 119 0.640 se Pacific, s S. America
2022 Oct 25 11:01:19 Partial 124 0.862 Europe, ne Africa, Mid East, w Asia
2023 Apr 20 04:17:55 Hybrid 129 1.013 01m16s se Asia, E. Indies, Australia, Philippines. N.Z.
[Hybrid: Indonesia, Australia, Papua New Guinea]
2023 Oct 14 18:00:40 Annular 134 0.952 05m17s N. America, C. America, S. America
[Annular: w US, C. America, Columbia, Brazil]
2024 Apr 08 18:18:29 Total 139 1.057 04m28s N. America, C. America
[Total: Mexico, c US, e Canada]
2024 Oct 02 18:46:13 Annular 144 0.933 07m25s Pacific, s S. America
[Annular: s Chile, s Argentina]
2025 Mar 29 10:48:36 Partial 149 0.938 nw Africa, Europe, n Russia
2025 Sep 21 19:43:04 Partial 154 0.855 s Pacific, N.Z., Antarctica
2026 Feb 17 12:13:05 Annular 121 0.963 02m20s s Argentina & Chile, s Africa, Antarctica
[Annular: Antarctica]
2026 Aug 12 17:47:05 Total 126 1.039 02m18s n N. America, w Africa, Europe
[Total: Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Spain]
2027 Feb 06 16:00:47 Annular 131 0.928 07m51s S. America, Antarctica, w & s Africa
[Annular: Chile, Argentina, Atlantic]
2027 Aug 02 10:07:49 Total 136 1.079 06m23s Africa, Europe, Mid East, w & s Asia
[Total:Morocco, Spain, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Somalia]
2028 Jan 26 15:08:58 Annular 141 0.921 10m27s e N. America, C. & S. America, w Europe, nw Africa
[Annular: Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Suriname, Spain, Portugal]
2028 Jul 22 02:56:39 Total 146 1.056 05m10s SE Asia, E. Indies, Australia, N.Z.
[Total: Australia, N. Z.]
2029 Jan 14 17:13:47 Partial 151 0.871 N. America, C. America
2029 Jun 12 04:06:13 Partial 118 0.458 Arctic, Scandanavia, Alaska, n Asia, n Canada
2029 Jul 11 15:37:18 Partial 156 0.230 s Chile, s Argentina
2029 Dec 05 15:03:57 Partial 123 0.891 s Argentina, s Chile, Antarctica
2030 Jun 01 06:29:13 Annular 128 0.944 05m21s Europe, n Africa, Mid East, Asia, Arctic, Alaska
[Annular: Algeria, Tunesia, Greece, Turkey, Russia, n. China, Japan]
2030 Nov 25 06:51:37 Total 133 1.047 03m44s s Africa, s Indian Oc., E. Indies, Australia, Antarctica
[Total: Botswana, S. Africa, Australia]

Geographic abbreviations (used above): n = north, s = south, e = east, w = west, c = central

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