May 27, 2024

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Where You Can See the Next Total Solar Eclipse, in 2026

4 min read

Are you still a little giddy from the magical moments of totality during Monday’s solar eclipse? Or did clouds swoop in to block your view? Maybe you just couldn’t make it to the path of totality this time. No matter what, the question now is “Where and when will it happen again?”

“People who have never seen it before, the first words out of their mouth after the totality ends is ‘I’ve got to see another one, this is incredible, this is unbelievable.’ That is when you become addicted to these things and end up traveling no matter where the next one is,” said Joseph Rao, an eclipse chaser and guest lecturer at the Hayden Planetarium.

So, if like Mr. Rao, you’ve developed a raging case of umbraphilia — the love of eclipses — you’ll have three chances over the next four years to see the moon blot out the sun. The first, on Aug. 12, 2026, will start above Greenland, then strafe the west coast of Iceland and move along the Atlantic Ocean and over Spain. Almost a year later, on Aug. 2, 2027, another will skirt the Mediterranean coast of North Africa then cross Egypt and part of the Arabian Peninsula. The third, on July 22, 2028, will cut across Australia and the southern tip of New Zealand.

Last week, as Victoria Sahami, the owner of Sirius Travel, was preparing to guide a group of tourists in Mazatlán, Mexico, for Monday’s big event, she was also planning for these other upcoming eclipses. Ms. Sahami joined the ranks of the eclipse-obsessed when she witnessed one in Venezuela in the 1990s. “Like many people, I was hooked. There was no going back,” she said.

Total solar eclipses happen fairly regularly — about every one to two years — in locations scattered around the world. “That’s the great thing about them: You wind up in places that you don’t normally go,” Ms. Sahami said.

A major spoiler is weather, which will be a big variable in the 2026 eclipse — one Greenland, Iceland and Spain will see.

“Iceland normally has a lot of cloud during that time of year,” said Paul Maley, who runs Ring of Fire Expeditions. “The data shows Spain to have the higher good-weather prospects of all three. However, the sun is low in the sky and the eclipse ends as the sun hits the horizon at sunset.”

Because of Iceland’s mercurial meteorology, Ring of Fire Expeditions is going all in on Spain, with a 10-day excursion on the mainland. Sirius Travel is offering not only a five-day trip to Majorca but also an eight-day tour around Iceland. It will be based in Reykjavik, and the itinerary will remain flexible on the day of the eclipse so the tour can easily pivot toward the location with the least cloud cover. Ms. Sahami recommends the trip for those who already have a few eclipses under their belt and would be happy just to take in the sights of Iceland if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

The 2027 eclipse, on the other hand, promises to be truly stellar: Luxor, Egypt — the site of numerous ancient temples as well as the Valleys of the Kings and Queens — sits right in the middle of the path of totality and will be bathed in darkness for a full 6 minutes 23 seconds. Weather-wise, it is what Ms. Sahami called “a slam dunk.” “You know you’re going to see it. You know that you’re not going to get any clouds,” she said.

But for all its potential, those considering Egypt should be aware that the State Department has a Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” warning for the country because of the risk of terrorism.

The 2028 eclipse will darken the skies over Sydney, Australia, for 3 minutes 49 seconds. It will be the first time the city has experienced a total solar eclipse since 1857. Ms. Sahami has her eyes on a trip based out of there, while Mr. Maley has chartered a cruise ship off the northwest coast of Australia. It will be winter there, he said, but that isn’t likely to mean bad eclipse-viewing weather.

If you want to see any (or all) of these eclipses, you should get started on planning and booking now, particularly if you want to sign up for a trip organized by a tour company. One of Sirius Travel’s excursions to Luxor is already full.

Scrutinize refund policies and look into insuring your trip. Several companies will fully refund your deposit if you cancel a year in advance. A lot can happen, Ms. Sahami said, “but if you think you’re going to go, why not?”

Danielle Dowling

2024-04-09 09:02:56

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