The next total solar eclipse is two years away - but I'd start planning now

A time-sequence composite of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse. In this case, time runs from left to right, from the last filtered partial phases I shot, through unfiltered shots of the rapidly changing last glimmer of sunlight disappearing behind the advancing Moon at Second Contact, forming Baily’s Beads, to totality at centre. The sequence continues at right with the Sun emerging from behind the Moon in a rapid sequence at Third Contact, followed by two post-totality filtered partials to bookend the total eclipse images. The C3 limb had a beautiful array of pink prominences. The Contact 2 and 3 images were taken in rapid-fire continuous mode and so are only fractions of a second apart in real time. Most are 1/4000th second exposures. The totality image is a blend of 7 exposures, from 1/1600 second to 1/15 second to preserve detail in the corona from inner to middle corona. These were aligned, and merged into a smart object and blended with a Mean combine stack mode. The partials are 1/2500-second exposures through a Thousand Oaks metal-on-glass solar filter for the yellow colour. The placement of the frames here only roughly matches the actual position and motion of the Sun across the sky during the time around totality. Partials and C2 and C3 images layered into Photoshop and blended into the background totality image with a Lighten blend mode, and masked to reveal just the wanted bits of each arc. The site was north of Driggs, Idaho in the Teton Valley, north of the centreline. Thus the diamond rings are above the centre of the Moon's disk.
(Image credit: Alan Dyer / Stocktrek Images / Alamy)

When is the next total solar eclipse? If you missed the last one on April 8 in North America, or it gave you the bug, and you want to see another, it’s time to start planning for mainland Europe’s first total solar eclipse since 1999.

On Wednesday, August 12, 2026, a total solar eclipse will bring a relatively short totality to four regions and nations: Siberia in Russia, eastern Greenland, western Iceland, and northern Spain. As the 5,133 miles (8,260 km)  long, up to 182 miles (293 kilometers) wide path of totality – the shadow of the moon – races across Earth, some photogenic landscapes will plunge into a twilight like no other. Add some seasonal treats, including the Milky Way at its brightest, the peak of a. Major meteor shower and the chance of seeing the aurora borealis, and this could be an extraordinary total solar eclipse trip. 

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Jamie Carter
Astrophotography expert

Jamie has been writing about all aspects of technology for over 14 years, producing content for sites like TechRadar, T3, Forbes, Mashable, MSN, South China Morning Post, and BBC Wildlife, BBC Focus and BBC Sky At Night magazines. 

As the editor for, he has a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise for all things astrophotography, from capturing the Perseid Meteor Shower, lunar eclipses and ring of fire eclipses, photographing the moon and blood moon and more.

He also brings a great deal of knowledge on action cameras, 360 cameras, AI cameras, camera backpacks, telescopes, gimbals, tripods and all manner of photography equipment.