On December 4, 2021, the total solar eclipse of this year will take place. Only people from the Southern Hemisphere will experience its total or partial phase. Here are more details about this event.
Safety Reminder: never look directly at the Sun without solar viewing or eclipse glasses! Regular sunglasses aren’t safe for viewing the Sun.
To learn more about solar and lunar eclipses, take our quiz.
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse is an astronomical event when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the Earth. Thus it blocks the sunlight partially or fully in some areas. A total eclipse occurs when the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth make a perfect line. When they aren’t exactly lined up, observers can see a partial eclipse.
Watch our video to get a visual explanation of solar eclipses.
What happens during a solar eclipse?
People located in the center of the Moon’s shadow during the solar eclipse can see its total phase. The Moon covers the Sun’s disk fully, and the sky becomes very dark as if it were night.
Only a part of the Sun is covered with the lunar disk for those who get to see a partial solar eclipse. During this phase, the sky looks brighter, as a part of the Sun remains visible.
Visibility of the solar eclipse in December 2021
The total phase of the solar eclipse on December 4, 2021, will be visible only in Antarctica. Those located in some parts of Saint Helena, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, South Georgia and Sandwich Islands, Crozet Islands, Falkland Islands, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia will see a partial solar eclipse. However, the percentage of the Sun covered by the Moon will be very small.
What time is the solar eclipse in 2021?
Here is a schedule of the total solar eclipse on December 4, 2021. Note that we provide the times in Greenwich meantime — translate it to your timezone to learn the eclipse schedule for your location.
- Partial eclipse begins: 05:29:16 GMT (00:29:16 a.m. EST)
- Full eclipse begins: 07:00:04 GMT (02:00:04 a.m. EST)
- Maximum eclipse: 07:33:26 GMT (02:33:26 a.m. EST)
- Full eclipse ends: 08:06:32 GMT (3:06:32 a.m. EST)
- Partial eclipse ends: 09:37:26 GMT (04:37:26 a.m. EST)
To track the solar eclipse, use the Eclipse Guide app. It features a precise local time of every eclipse phase, the best places for observations, interactive maps, push notifications, and more.
When is the next solar eclipse?
Two partial solar eclipses will take place next year — on April 30 and October 25, 2022. The first one will be visible from Southeast Pacific and South America; the second — from Europe, northeast Africa, the Middle East, and West Asia.
The next total solar eclipse will occur on April 8, 2024. Those who live in Mexico, central and northeastern United States, and East Canada will see its total phase.
Now you know when to watch the last solar eclipse of 2021. We wish you clear skies and happy observations!