NASA has released a detailed map showing the paths for the 2023 annular eclipse and the 2024 total solar eclipse.
It’s not too early to start planning where you want to be for one of the most awe-inspiring natural phenomenons the world has to offer.
On October 14, 2023, an annular solar eclipse will cross western and southern regions of the U.S. During an annular eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, creating a “ring of fire” effect.
The following year, some U.S. residents will be treated to a total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the face of the sun, darkening one’s surroundings into a dawn- or dusk-like state for several minutes.
The total eclipse path, on Apr. 8, 2024, goes from Texas to Maine.
How to use the map
The dark belts laid across the map show the paths where the largest area of the sun will be covered by the moon, according to NASA, and are the best positions to witness the eclipses. The path with yellow ovals represents the annular eclipse, and the purple ovals show the total eclipse.
The ovals have times inside them that tell you what shape the moon’s shadow will appear as at that time.
For the best view, you’ll want to be as close to the middle of the belt as possible. Parallel lines within the belt show you how long the eclipse will be visible for, depending on where you are. In Carbondale, Illinois, for example, the total eclipse will be visible for 4 minutes, but just 3 minutes in Dallas, Texas.
Lucky residents living near San Antonio, where the two paths cross on the map, won’t need to travel far to see both eclipses.
A total solar eclipse visible from the United States is a rare event, with the last occurring in 2017.