Eclipse glasses sold out wherever you looked? Nowhere near the path of totality? View blocked by cloud cover (as it was in my area)? Maybe you just weren’t willing to get caught up in the storm of traffic from so many stargazers wanting to glimpse totality. While this summer’s eclipse was doubtlessly epic, if you didn’t have a chance to watch and then blow up Twitter and Instagram with an awesome photo, eclipse doesn’t mean apocalypse—so here’s where and when you can safely stare at the sun again.
July 2, 2019
The soonest solar eclipse is just about two years from now across the South Pacific, Argentina, and Chile. You can start planning the ultimate vacation now, because you’ll be able to see the two minutes of totality from a cruise along the Pitcairn islands or through a world-class telescope at one of the many high-altitude observatories scattered across Chile’s Elqui valley. Just one thing: July means winter in the Southern Hemisphere. So your cruise could get busted by clouds, but you’ll still get to luxuriate on a cruise, right?
December 14, 2020
Same place as before, just one year later, much better probability of your camera getting an incredible shot because it will happen in late afternoon when the sun and moon are higher in the sky. December is also known for great weather in this area. While you wait for those two minutes of totality to start eclipse-watching, you can take advantage of all the hiking, boating, and fishing opportunities, not to mention the amazing hot springs.
December 4, 2021
If you’re willing to ignore the warnings of H.P. Lovecraft and embark on an Antarctic expedition, know that there might be a better possibility of digging up Great Old Ones from the ice than actually seeing the minute and 40 seconds of totality clearly from the notoriously cloudy skies. It will be breathtaking if you can actually see it. You’ll probably need some Innsmouth gold for this voyage, too, since a trip to Antarctica is beyond expensive.
April 20, 2023
The 60 seconds of totality during this rare hybrid eclipse are totally worth it if you can make it out to the other side of the planet. Such an eclipse only occurs when the moon is right on the edge of being too far away to eclipse the sun as it travels on its elliptical orbit around Earth, and blazes like a ring of fire in the beginning and end of its path. You’ll also get more photo ops than just the eclipse. Hybrid eclipses mean that Bailey’s beads, those streams of sunlight on the moon caused by its uneven surface, will linger much longer than usual. You will probably also be able to capture the incredibly cool alternating stripes of light and shadow on the ground known as shadow bands.
April 8, 2024
If your future travel plans don’t include Chile, Australia, or Antarctica, just wait it out, because the next eclipse to sweep over North America will have an astounding totality of 4 and a half minutes. While there could be a chance of clouds in the forecast, the path of totality will cross nine states including (finally!) New York.
(via Sky and Telescope)