The next total solar eclipse visible in the mainland United States will come on August 21, 2017. The next total eclipse after that for U.S. observers will be on April 8, 2024.
Check out the map at right. It shows all the total solar eclipses occurring in North America from 2001-2050, thanks to the eclipse master Fred Espenak.
During a total solar eclipse – whenever the new moon swings directly in front of the sun and completely covers it – the sky turns suddenly from day into night, and stars and planets pop into view. What’s more, a total solar eclipse shows you the sun’s normally invisible corona. It’s a breathtaking sight!
In addition to total eclipses, there are other sorts of eclipses as well, and some of them might be visible from your location. In 2013, the next eclipse will be a hybrid solar eclipse on November 3, 2013. Read more about the November 3, 2013 hybrid solar eclipse here. A hybrid eclipse occurs when the magnitude of an eclipse changes during the event from less to greater than one, so the eclipse appears to be total at some locations on Earth and annular at other locations.
The moon passes more or less between the Earth and sun every month. This is the new moon phase. More often than not, no eclipse happens at new moon, because the new moon usually sweeps to the north or to the south of the sun. There are several lunar and solar eclipses each year, however.
Bottom line: The next total solar eclipse in the United States will take place on August 21, 2017.
Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004. He's a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.