Annular solar eclipse 2024: Everything you need to know about the next solar eclipse

After the Great North American Eclipse comes a long “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse that can be seen in some iconic destinations.

A "ring of fire" will be seen in the Pacific Ocean and South America, similar to the one witnessed in the U.S. Southwest on Oct. 14, 2023.

Now that the “Great North American Eclipse” is over, you may be itching for the next opportunity to witness another celestial marvel. So when is the next solar eclipse? 

The next total solar eclipse is more than two years out, on Aug. 12, 2026, in Greenland, Iceland and Spain. However, on Oct. 2, 2024, a “ring of fire” annular solar eclipse will pass over parts of the Pacific Ocean, southern Chile and southern Argentina.

Whereas 43.8 million people were able to experience totality for the April 8, 2024, eclipse in North America, only 175,000 people will have that opportunity for the Oct. 2 annular solar eclipse, according to Time and Date. The paths of both eclipses cross in the Pacific Ocean.

Related: Eclipse from space: See the moon’s shadow race across North America at 1,500 mph in epic satellite footage

During an annular solar eclipse, it is NEVER safe to look directly at the sun without solar eclipse glasses designed for solar viewing.

So, ready to go eclipse chasing? Here’s everything you need to know about the annular solar eclipse on Oct. 2, 2024, in Chile and Argentina. 

What is an annular solar eclipse?

An annular solar eclipse seen in 2012. (Image credit: Phillip Jones/Stocktrek Images via Getty Images)

The Oct. 2 eclipse will be very similar to the annular solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023, which was visible across the U.S. Southwest, Central America and South America. All solar eclipses occur when a new moon is positioned precisely between Earth and the sun and casts its shadow on Earth. However, unlike a total solar eclipse, an annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon is slightly farther from Earth. So, even when the disks align from our perspective, the moon’s shadow doesn’t completely block out the sun’s light. Instead, a ring of sunlight is visible around the moon.

window.sliceComponents = window.sliceComponents || {};

externalsScriptLoaded.then(() => {
window.reliablePageLoad.then(() => {
var componentContainer = document.querySelector(“#slice-container-newsletterForm-articleInbodyContent-UkDpW22CQxNK4d4CwNJnWj”);

if (componentContainer) {
var data = {“layout”:”inbodyContent”,”header”:”Sign up for the Live Science daily newsletter now”,”tagline”:”Get the worldu2019s most fascinating discoveries delivered straight to your inbox.”,”formFooterText”:”By submitting your information you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and are aged 16 or over.”,”successMessage”:{“body”:”Thank you for signing up. You will receive a confirmation email shortly.”},”failureMessage”:”There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.”,”method”:”POST”,”inputs”:[{“type”:”hidden”,”name”:”NAME”},{“type”:”email”,”name”:”MAIL”,”placeholder”:”Your Email Address”,”required”:true},{“type”:”hidden”,”name”:”NEWSLETTER_CODE”,”value”:”XLS-D”},{“type”:”hidden”,”name”:”LANG”,”value”:”EN”},{“type”:”hidden”,”name”:”SOURCE”,”value”:”60″},{“type”:”hidden”,”name”:”COUNTRY”},{“type”:”checkbox”,”name”:”CONTACT_OTHER_BRANDS”,”label”:{“text”:”Contact me with news and offers from other Future brands”}},{“type”:”checkbox”,”name”:”CONTACT_PARTNERS”,”label”:{“text”:”Receive email from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsors”}},{“type”:”submit”,”value”:”Sign me up”,”required”:true}],”endpoint”:”https://newsletter-subscribe.futureplc.com/v2/submission/submit”,”analytics”:[{“analyticsType”:”widgetViewed”}],”ariaLabels”:{}};

var triggerHydrate = function() {
window.sliceComponents.newsletterForm.hydrate(data, componentContainer);
}

if (window.lazyObserveElement) {
window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerHydrate);
} else {
triggerHydrate();
}
}
}).catch(err => console.log(‘Hydration Script has failed for newsletterForm-articleInbodyContent-UkDpW22CQxNK4d4CwNJnWj Slice’, err));
}).catch(err => console.log(‘Externals script failed to load’, err));

Related: What’s the difference between a total solar eclipse and an annular solar eclipse?

The eclipse on Oct. 2, 2024, will have an eclipse magnitude of 0.9326, according to EclipseWise.com. That means about 93% of the sun will be blocked by the moon during the eclipse, resulting in an “annulus” (Latin for “ring”). The moon will appear 6.4% smaller than average, according to MoonBlink.

The closer the observer is to the centerline, the more circular the ring of fire will be and the longer it will last. But experienced eclipse chasers often observe from the edge of the path during an annular solar eclipse to see extended views of Baily’s beads fizzing around where the limb of the moon appears to touch the sun. They can be visible for several minutes.

From where can you see the Oct. 2 annular solar eclipse?

A map of the Oct. 2, 2024, annular solar eclipse. (Image credit: Michael Zeiler GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

The ring of fire will be visible only within a path of annularity that passes across the Pacific Ocean, southern Chile and southern Argentina.

This area will include the volcanic island of Rapa Nui/Easter Island, an iconic travel destination that’s famous for the mysterious stone statues called moai, some of which reach 40 feet (12 meters) tall and weigh 75 tons. The island, which is only 63 square miles (163 square kilometers), is located 2,300 miles (3,700 km) from the Chilean coast, making it the most isolated inhabited landmass on Earth. Remarkably, it will be the second time a central solar eclipse has been visible from this tiny Pacific island in recent decades, with a total solar eclipse glimpsed there on July 11, 2010. The next total and annular eclipses there will be in 2324 and 2345, respectively.

A good option would be to position yourself slightly south of a moai at multiple sites to get a view of the ring of fire just above one of the statues, according to the Atlas of Solar Eclipses — 2020 to 2045. Iconic locations will include the platform at Ahu Tongariki, where 15 moai are positioned on a 200-foot-long (60 m) ceremonial platform and nearby Rano Raraku.

October’s ring of fire will also be visible from southern Patagonia in Chile and Argentina. The path will be 180 to 185 miles (290 to 300 km) wide.

Where and when can I see the Oct. 2 annular solar eclipse?

A map of the Oct. 2, 2024, annular solar eclipse across South America. (Image credit: Michael Zeiler GreatAmericanEclipse.com)

Here are some places eclipse chasers will gather for this annular solar eclipse:

  • Rapa Nui/Easter Island, Chile (5 minutes, 38 seconds to 6 minutes, 12 seconds of annularity starting at 14:03 EAST, 67 degrees above North)
  • Cochrane, Chile (5 minutes, 40 seconds of annularity starting at 17:21 CLST, 26 degrees above NNW)
  • Perito Moreno National Park, Argentina (6 minutes, 17 seconds of annularity starting at 17:21 ART, 25 degrees above NNW)
  • Puerto Deseado, Argentina (3 minutes, 22 seconds of annularity starting at 17:27 ART, 20 degrees above NNW)
  • Puerto San Julian, Argentina (5 minutes, 12 seconds of annularity starting at 17:24 ART, 21 degrees above NNW)

Organized eclipse-viewing tours include Sky & Telescope, TravelQuest and AstroTrails. All are experienced eclipse tour operators that are headed to Rapa Nui/Easter Island.

What will the weather be like for the Oct. 2 annular eclipse?

A total solar eclipse was visible from Rapa Nui/Easter Island in 2010. (Image credit: MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s always best to travel somewhere you want to visit regardless of a solar eclipse. That certainly applies to the Oct. 2 event, because the prospects of a completely clear sky are relatively low. The chances of clouds that day are 75% for Rapa Nui/Easter Island,, 90% for Perito Moreno National Park, and 65% to 70% for locations on Argentina’s Atlantic coast, according to Time and Date.

On Rapa Nui/Easter Island, the cooling of the land could cause convective clouds to dissipate, according to Eclipsophile, with the south coast statistically slightly favored. The chances of seeing the ring of fire are smallest on Chile’s Pacific Coast and highest on Argentina’s Atlantic coast. The latter has the least interesting scenery of anywhere in the path, but the eclipse will arguably be a more dramatic sight because it will occur much lower in the sky.

Why is the Oct. 2, 2024, annular solar eclipse special?

The paths of 2024’s two central solar eclipses cross on the equator, reflecting that they occur almost six months apart when Earth is tilted differently. (Image credit: Xavier Jubier http://xjubier.free.fr)

The Oct. 2, 2024, annular solar eclipse is special for three very different reasons. First, it follows the Great North American Eclipse of April 8 — so interest in solar eclipses should be high, and many eclipse chasers will travel to see it.

Second, it’s a long eclipse, with the ring of fire lasting up to 7 minutes, 25 seconds. That’s much longer than the 4 minutes, 52 seconds possible in the U.S. during the last annular solar eclipse on Oct. 14, 2023.

Third, the best place to view this event is a truly iconic destination: Rapa Nui, also called Easter Island.

Where to see the partial solar eclipse on Oct. 2

Although a ring-of-fire eclipse will be visible only from the aforementioned areas of Chile and Argentina, other areas will experience a partial solar eclipse on Oct. 2. These areas include parts of the Pacific Ocean and the southern half of South America. Here’s what percentage of eclipse will be seen from major cities and destinations in the partial-eclipse zone:

  • Galapagos Islands (1%)
  • La Paz, Bolivia (1%)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (9%)
  • São Paulo, Brazil (10%)
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (42%)
  • Montevideo, Uruguay (42%)
  • Santiago, Chile (44%)
  • Villarrica, Chile (63%)
  • El Calafate, Argentina (83%)
  • Falkland Islands (84%)
  • South Georgia Island (76%)
  • Punta Arenas, Chile (75%)
  • Ushuaia, Argentina (72%)
  • Elephant Island (56%)
  • Port Lockroy, Antarctica (44%)

After October 2024, when is the next annular solar eclipse?

Here are the dates and locations for some upcoming annular solar eclipses:

  • Feb. 17, 2026: Antarctica
  • Feb. 6, 2027: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria
  • Jan. 26, 2028: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Brazil, French Guiana, Portugal, Morocco and Spain
  • June 1, 2030: Algeria, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, China and Japan

Additional resources

Want to look further ahead? You can find a concise summary of solar eclipses out to 2030 on NASA’s eclipse website. Read more about solar and lunar eclipses on EclipseWise.com, a website dedicated to predictions of eclipses. See beautiful maps on eclipse cartographer Michael Zeiler’s GreatAmericanEclipse.com and interactive Google Maps on Xavier Jubier’s eclipse website. You can find climate and weather predictions by meteorologist Jay Anderson on eclipsophile.com.

Bibliography

Anderson, J. (February 2024). Annular Solar Eclipse 2024 October 2. Retrieved March 1, 2024 from https://eclipsophile.com/annular-solar-eclipse-october-2-2024/

Bakich, M. and Zeiler, M. (2022). Atlas Of Solar Eclipses 2020-2045.  https://www.greatamericaneclipse.com/books/atlas-of-solar-eclipses-2020-to-2045

Espenak, F. Solar Eclipse Prime Page: Annular Solar Eclipse of 2024 October 2. Retrieved March 1, 2024 from: https://eclipsewise.com/solar/SEprime/2001-2100/SE2024Oct02Aprime.html

Jubier, X. (n.d.). Solar eclipses: Interactive Google Maps. Retrieved March 1, 2024 from http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/SolarEclipsesGoogleMaps.html

Time and Date. (n.d.). October 2 2024 Annular Solar Eclipse. Retrieved March 1, 2024 from https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/solar/2024-october-2

Originally posted on Space.com.

READ MORE

Mysterious iron pillar hasn’t rusted despite being out in the open for over 1,600 years

The iron pillar is 7.2 meters tall, weighing almost six tons and houses a decorative [...]

Scientists make nanoparticles dance to unravel quantum limits

Two optically trapped nanoparticles are coupled together by photons bouncing back and forth between mirrors. [...]

A New Generation of Autonomous Vessels Is Looking to Catch Illegal Fishers

Daphne, an autonomous solar-powered vessel developed by British Columbia–based Open Ocean Robotics, is part of [...]

A Glimmer of Hope in The Sunset

Hawaiian monk seal Wayne Sentman Brilliant white sand crunches between my toes. The air is [...]

10 Organizations That Want to Help You Quit Smoking

Trying to quit smoking can be nearly impossible for some, but there are organizations willing [...]

Accelerating chemical reduction of carbon dioxide with ultrathin layers of tin disulfide

Scanning electrochemical cell microscopy experiment probing the CO2 reduction catalytical activity of a SnS2 sheet. [...]

Quantum tool opens door to uncharted phenomena

The temperature profiles obtained by the researchers show that particles that interact strongly with the [...]