Need something to look forward to?
If you were born with itchy feet and a desire to see the best our planet has to offer, clear your travel planner for August 2, 2027.
Yes, that’s in seven years, but make no mistake—once word gets out about this unique event many thousands will be trying to get themselves to the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Eqypt to stare skyward at 12:02 p.m. local time.
At that precise moment will begin an astonishing 6 minutes and 20 seconds of precious totality—the moment the Moon blocks out the Sun and throws a moonshadow over the Earth.
It’s the only time it’s possible to see the Sun’s outer, hotter, ice-white corona, and the sight is book-ended with fabulous “diamond rings” as beads of sunlight pour through the moon’s mountains and valleys.
Those in the “path of totality” on August 2, 2027 will experience the longest remaining total solar eclipse of this century. Although there was a longer eclipse in 2009, that was over the ocean and mostly blocked by clouds; 2027’s total solar eclipse will be the longest totality on land since 1991 and until 2114.
Here’s everything you need to know to plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Where is the 2027 total solar eclipse?
The path of totality on August 2, 2027 stretches from the Atlantic through Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia. Here’s a map.
So you do have some travel options, though there are three reasons to head to Luxor, Egypt:
- Clear skies are almost certain in North Africa (as are midday temperatures of 41°C/106°F).
- Maximum duration is 6 minutes 23 seconds just southeast of Luxor, Egypt—but only four seconds shorter in the Valley of the Kings.
- The area is a tourist hotspot (in normal times) so has lots of hotels—if you book early.
Best viewing sites for 2027 total solar eclipse in Egypt
Luxor, the site of ancient Thebes, is sure to reign supreme as eclipse HQ on August 2, 2027.
The best, though busiest, place to be will almost certainly be the Valley of the Kings—an area of rock-cut tombs excavated for the pharaohs between the 16th to 11th century BC—over the Nile from Luxor.
Its symmetric architecture and beautiful location against a cliff face will likely make the Temple of Hatshepsut the epicenter for eclipse observing (unless the area is closed), but there are plenty of other places to watch from elsewhere in the valley.
There’s a walk called “Deir el Bahri” that takes you across the mountain pass between the temple and the Valley of the Kings, while the Colossi of Memnon—situated in the Theban Necropolis—are also sure to be a favorite for eclipse photographers.
Other popular locations will include the Valley of the Queens, the solar-aligned Karnak complex of temple ruins, and Luxor Temple.
However, to avoid the crowds in Luxor it might be wise to consider Sohag, a satellite town about a four hour drive north of Luxor, on the west bank of the Nile. It enjoys identical totality time to Luxor—6 minutes 20 seconds—and it’s close to the intriguing Red Monastery and White Monastery.
Best viewing sites for 2027 total solar eclipse away from Egypt
The area around Luxor s going to be mega-busy, and many will be prepared to sacrifice a slice of totality time to witness the eclipse alone. Hire a driver and you can get into the desert very easily from … anywhere in North Africa. However, here are a few other places to consider:
- A sunrise totality from a cruise ship in the Atlantic.
- Cadiz, Spain: 2 minutes 51 seconds.
- Baelo Claudia ancient Roman town, Bolonia, Spain: 4 minutes 30 seconds.
- Tangiers, Morocco: 4 minutes 50 seconds.
- Sidi Bouhl, near Tozeur, Tunisia (featured in the original Star Wars): 3 minute 8 seconds.
- Kerkennah Islands, Tunisia: 5 minutes 40 seconds.
- Mecca, Suadi Arabia: 5 minutes 8 seconds.
- A sunrise totality from a cruise ship in the Indian Ocean.
When is the next total solar eclipse?
The next total solar eclipse is on December 14, 2020 in Chile’s Lake District and northern Patagonia in Argentina. It will last for 2 minutes 9 seconds from across a narrow part of South America.
There’s a bonus for eclipse-chasers since the eclipse will be preceded by the peak of the Geminids meteor shower, while just a week later is the closest “great conjunction” of Saturn and Jupiter for centuries. The gas giants will appear to shine as one, being just 0.06º apart from each other in the night sky.
When is the next total solar eclipse in North America?
The next total solar eclipse in North America is on April 8, 2024, when parts of Mexico, the US and Canada will experience up to 4 minutes 28 seconds of totality.
Clear skies are most likely in Mexico and Texas, though the moon’s shadow will bring a four-minute totality (or thereabouts) to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and into Canada at Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
There are then two relatively minor total solar eclipses in North America; on March 30, 2033 in Alaska and on August 23, 2044 in northern Canada, Montana and North Dakota.
However, “the big one” will come in 2045.
The ‘Greatest American Eclipse’ of 2045
Since eclipses repeat in a saros cycle every 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours there’s going to be another 2027-style super-long total solar eclipse in 2045.
It’s also going to be the greatest total solar eclipse of the century for North Americans.
On August 12, 2045, the incredible Solar Saros 136 will throw a 6 minutes+ moonshadow across the US, the eastern Caribbean, and the north-east coast of South America via Haiti, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname and Brazil.
In the US that means totality for the likes of Reno, Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Miami—with totality in the US maxing-out at 6 minutes 4 seconds in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
If you’re still alive 18 years, 11 days and 8 hours after that, on August 24, 2063, get yourself onto a boat in the North Pacific Ocean.
Disclaimer: I am the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.