If you’re watching the lunar eclipse tonight on July 4, you might be a little disappointed. It’s actually not as eye-catching as you might have expected. That’s because you were probably thinking about the Blood Moon, which is a total lunar eclipse. Well, that won’t be happening again for quite some time.
The Next Blood Moon or Total Lunar Eclipse Isn’t Until May 2021
In a lunar eclipse, the Earth is between the moon and the sun, and all three objects are in perfect alignment, as NASA explains. Therefore, the earth is creating a shadow on the moon’s surface, making it turn red. The lunar eclipse can only happen when there’s a full moon, but it doesn’t happen every time there’s a full moon, notes EarthSky.
The next major total lunar eclipse in the U.S. is taking place on May 26, 2021. This will be visible in Australia, parts of the western U.S., western South America, or South-East Asia. You’ll see a Super Full Moon totally eclipsed for about 14 minutes if weather permits. Timeline wise, in the Central time zone you might see it (if it’s visible) from 6:11:26 a.m. to 6:25:54 a.m., with the maximum eclipse happening at 6:18:42 a.m.
After that, another full lunar eclipse in the U.S. won’t happen until May 15-16, 2022. This will be visible from North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. This is a major lunar eclipse known as a Blood Moon. For this one, in the Central time zone if it’s visible, you may see the full eclipse from 10:29:03 p.m. to 11:53:55 p.m. with the maximum eclipse happening at 11:11:28 p.m. So that will be a really nice night.
Blood moon lunar eclipses are rare events, so you’ll definitely want to take time to enjoy them.
Penumbral lunar eclipses, where you just see a partial shadow that’s sometimes pretty dim, are more common. Another penumbral lunar eclipse like tonight’s will happen on November 29-30.
The Next Total Solar Eclipse Visible in the U.S. Won’t Happen Until April 8, 2024
Solar eclipses are even rarer.
The next total solar eclipse is December 14, 2020, but that one won’t be visible in the U.S. either. It will be visible from Chile and Argentina. Another total eclipse will happen on December 4, 2021, but that also won’t be visible in the U.S. It will be an unusual eclipse, with totality moving from east to west across Antarctica. Most eclipses move from west to east.
The next total solar eclipse in the U.S. won’t happen until April 8, 2024. This one will have a line of totality crossing Texas, through the Midwest, and over Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo NY, over New England, and passing over Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. This will also be the first total solar eclipse visible in Mexico since 1991.
We won’t see the next coast-to-coast solar eclipse in the U.S. until August 12, 2045.
There will be an annular solar eclipse in the U.S. on October 14, 2023.
Even though the next total eclipses won’t happen for quite some time, you’ll probably want to go ahead and mark your calendars now. You may want to make sure you have time to plan ahead and get into a great location where you can view the eclipses in all their beauty. Don’t forget to wear safety glasses for the solar eclipses.
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