Denis Hart (5 Dec 2021)
"The (Other) Great American Solar Eclipse!!"

The (Other) Great American Solar Eclipse!!

Most of us are very aware that the United States will witness two total solar eclipses that will complete a giant ‘X’ across the United States.  The first of these two eclipses occurred on 21 August 2017 and the next will occur seven years later on 8 April 2024.  

While others may know this, I have only just become aware that the United States also gets two back-to-back solar eclipses on October 14, 2023 and April 8, 2024!  The annular solar eclipse in October 2023 crosses the US from Oregon to Texas.  

·        There are 177 days between 14 October 2023 and 8 April 2024.  If there were three days of darkness from 8 to 11 April 2024, the day count would be 180 (half a time).

The total solar eclipse of 2024 sweeps North America from Mazatlan to Texas, the Midwest and New England, to the Canadian Maritimes.  There is a very good website (link below) that highlights these two eclipses (with a great picture of the two eclipse paths across the United States).

The total solar eclipse of December 4, 2021 visits only the continent of Antarctica during the austral Summer.  Six months prior, the annular solar eclipse of June 10, 2021 began in southern Canada, traversed Greenland, and passed over the North Pole, before ending over eastern Siberia. So the year of 2021 is neatly bracketed by two polar solar eclipses!  There is an interesting article on the 4 December 2021 eclipse on the  website (direct link below).

This annular eclipse is the second of three notable solar eclipses viewable from the US.  It follows the US total eclipse of August 2017, and comes six months before the Mexico-US-Canada total eclipse of April 2024.

Annularity, where the Sun forms a ‘ring of fire’ around the Moon, is visible along a narrow path that crosses the US from Oregon to Texas. It then passes over Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, plus parts of Central AmericaColombia, and Brazil. Elsewhere in the Americas - from Alaska to Argentina partial eclipse will be visible.  The link below provides more information.

These eclipses are clearly important signs, especially for the United States.  A further sign is the South American total solar eclipse on 14 December 2020.  As Bob Ware noted (link below), the Electoral College selected the next President of the United States on 14 December 2020.  There will be a total solar eclipse across a portion of South America on that same day.   14 December 2020 will be the exact centre point two solar eclipses that will complete a giant ‘X’ across the United States.


Denis in Canberra   (partial eclipse here today, although I didn’t see it)