In what should be a spectacular sky show in the years to come, a solar eclipse will set off light flashes and a color change in the weeks ahead, a tantalizing preview of an actual eclipse as great as the one in June 2024.
The next large solar eclipse, a so-called total eclipse, will come only 17 years later in 2022. It will be the longest totality, lasting more than 2 minutes and 40 seconds, according to NASA.
Friday marks the beginning of the first phase of the solar eclipse, during which a partial eclipse will appear in Earth’s sky, turning parts of the United States dark. The next planned eclipse on Friday will occur only in Brazil. It will be the first time people there have seen a total solar eclipse since 1999.
After the North American sides of the August 20, 2021 eclipse are out of view, a second phase will take place for about two weeks across Europe, the western Balkans and the Middle East. Then, in July 2022, a penumbral eclipse will occur again in the United States, again over land.