Here's Where You Have To Be To See The Eclipse

by Megan Grant

With the next annular solar eclipse happening on Sept. 1, 2016, many of us are obviously wondering which areas of the world will offer the best view. Well, I've got good news and bad news: The good news is that I can tell you exactly where the annular solar eclipse is visible. The bad news is that it's only one spot. Also, that spot is not in the United States. Or anywhere close to it. Sorry, U.S. readers.

The annular solar eclipse will be visible from Madagascar and other nearby locations in central Africa, thanks to the path the eclipse will take across the continent. Even still, for most people in Africa, they'll only see a partial solar eclipse; this means that the moon will come between the sun and our Earth, but they won't be aligned well enough to make the perfect "ring of fire" image for which this kind of eclipse is known. For this reason, these people will see the moon cover just a part of the sun. It's still pretty sweet, though!

In addition to Africa, people in southern Asia, western Australia, and Antarctica will also be able to experience at least a partial solar eclipse. And if you happen to be floating along the Atlantic or Indian Ocean, you should have a good seat. But watch out for sharks and stuff, OK?

If you're a more visual person, this map from NASA shows more clearly the path of Sept. 1's solar and lunar happenings, and where to go to see the annular solar eclipse.

What about the rest of us? Fear not, because there's a pretty likely chance you can still watch the annular solar eclipse online. As the date approaches, do a quick Google search (and check the news!) to see who's going to offer virtual seats to the big show. You won't want to miss it. The next annular solar eclipse isn't happening until Feb. 26, 2017 — and who wants to wait that long?

Images: Getty Images, Giphy