Although there are two to five eclipses of the Sun every year, each eclipse is only visible from a limited region of Earth. No single location will see every eclipse. In fact, several years may pass between the appearance of two eclipses from any one place. Furthermore, most eclipses appear partial from a single location even if the event is classified as total or annular. The path of a total (or annular) eclipse is quite narrow and covers less than 1% of the Earth's surface. In comparison, a partial eclipse is visible is much larger region. Eclipses for Beginners examines the geometry of solar eclipses in greater detail. Please note that extreme care must be taken when viewing a solar eclipse.
To determine when either the last or next total eclipse is visible from a given city is a formidable computation. To answer this question, one must calculate the circumstances of every single solar eclipse over the time period of interest. On the average, about 375 years elapse between the appearance of two total eclipses from the same place. But the interval can sometimes be much longer!
The digital computer (with appropriate software) is perfectly suited to addressing a number of eclipse questions including:
"How often is an eclipse visible from city 'X'?"
"When was the last partial (or annular, or total) eclipse visible from city 'X'?"
"When is the next partial (or annular, or total) eclipse visible from city 'X'?"
The cities in the following table each link to several catalogs which list the viewing circumstances for every solar eclipse visible from that city during the period 0001 CE to 3000 CE. All dates and times are given in local standard time. The local times for the beginning, maximum and end of every eclipse are given, followed by the Sun's altitude and azimuth. The eclipse magnitude is the fraction of Sun's diameter covered by the Moon at maximum eclipse. If the eclipse is annular or total from some portion of the Earth's surface, then the distance (km) from the city to the center and edge of the eclipse path are provided.
Special notes (last column) call attention to major partial eclipses (magnitude ≥ 0.75), or occassions when a total or annular eclipse path passes within 500 km of the city. If the city lies within the path of an annular or total eclipse, then the duration of annularity or totality is given. For a complete description of each item in the table, please see Key to Solar Eclipse Viewing Circumstances.
Note: BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) are secular alternatives for the terms BC and AD, respectively.
For more information, see Year Dating Conventions.
Chicago, IL All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total Los Angeles, CA All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total New York, NY All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total Washington, DC All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total
Casa Grande All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total
Berlin, GERMANY All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total London, UK All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total Paris, FRANCE All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total Rome, ITALY All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total
Sydney, AUSTRALIA All Eclipses Major Eclipses Annular & Total
Key to Eclipse Circumstances Table
Eclipse Predictions & WebMaster: Fred Espenak
Planetary Systems Branch - Code 693