This year’s first solar eclipse, a total cover-up, took place along a far-northern path that passed over only a few inhabited bits of land.
The next solar eclipse, occurring this weekend, will likewise be challenging to view — unless you’re lucky enough to be on the southern tip of Africa or somehow situated in a portion of Antarctica.
September 13th’s solar eclipse is a partial affair, with the Moon covering a maximum of 79% of the Sun’s diameter at 6:54 Universal Time. As seen in the map above, the area of visibility clips South Africa and neighboring countries, as well as Madagascar, during sunrise or in the hours thereafter.
According to predictions by Fred Espenak, up to 30% of the Sun’s disk will be covered as seen from Cape Town, 15% from Johannesburg, and 2% from Harare in Zimbabwe.
Two weeks later, with the Moon full instead of new on the night of September 27–28, North and South Americans will enjoy a total lunar eclipse.
After this weekend, the Moon next covers the Sun (completely this time) on March 9, 2016, and the path for that event crosses Indonesia and the western Pacific Ocean.