WHEN WILL THE NEXT SOLAR OR LUNAR ECLIPSE TAKE PLACE?
NB: Observers should never look directly at the Sun. Permanent eye damage
Partial solar eclipse. Mike Dryland, Flamsteed Astronomy Society
Solar eclipses take place when the Moon partly (a partial solar eclipse) or completely
(a total solar eclipse) blocks the light of the Sun. There are between two and five
solar eclipses each year with a total eclipse taking place every 18 months or so.
From any given location, partial solar eclipses are fairly common and can be seen
every few years or so. Total solar eclipses are much less frequent and are seen
about every 400 years from any one place on the surface of the Earth. The last total
solar eclipse visible from Britain took place in 1999 and the next one will not be until
Lunar eclipses take place when the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow. If part
of the Moon remains outside the shadow at maximum eclipse this is a partial lunar
eclipse. During a total lunar eclipse the Moon is completely immersed in the shadow.
Worldwide, there are between two and five lunar eclipses visible each year. From any
given location, lunar eclipses are fairly common and can be seen every few years or
so. The last two total lunar eclipses visible from Britain took place in October 2004
and March 2007 - the next one visible from the UK will be on February 21 2008.
Find out more:
Find out more about solar and lunar eclipses (fact file)
NASA guide to solar and lunar eclipses
National Maritime Museum - When will the next solar or lunar eclipse take place?