Eclipse Tables 2000-2050

You can learn interesting things by studying tables of eclipses. Here are tables of all lunar and solar eclipses visible somewhere on Earth during the first half of the 21st century.

On very rare and special days, the sun or the moon will go dark for a little while. Why? If you had to figure this out using only clues that you can see yourself, could you do it? Many early cultures had myths about gods or fantastical creatures dimming or devouring the sun or the moon. The Ancient Greeks finally figured out the scientific explanation for eclipses, and they did it roughly 2000 years before the telescope was invented, and over 2000 years before space cameras or space travel. They only needed the clues that you and I can see with our own eyes (plus a few hundred years of records).

First of all, do eclipses occur at random, due to the whims of the gods, or is there a pattern to them? The Ancient Greeks had some historical records to study (thanks largely to their predecessors, the Babylonians), and by studying these records they discovered that eclipses come in cycles. You can see a list of contemporary eclipses below. Can you see any patterns?

The following two tables list all lunar and solar eclipses visible somewhere on Earth for the years 2000-2050. I have classified the lunar eclipses according to the “strength” of the eclipse (or more precisely, the “umbral magnitude.”) I have classified solar eclipses according to the portion of the Earth where they are visible (or more precisely the latitude of the “central eclipse”). Someday maybe I'll prepare my own maps for the individual eclipses, but in the meantime the wonderful Time & Date website provides separate webpages for each eclipse, with detailed information about timing and visibility. Clicking on any entry in my tables below will take you to the Time and Date web page for that particular eclipse, where you can find visibility maps and schedules for your location.

Unless you are viewing this on a small screen, you should see tables with three columns, and I've tried to arrange the columns to help make the patterns more apparent. (In the lunar eclipse table, I purposefully added a gap into the second and third columns to help things line up more nicely.) Can you find the patterns in the tables? You might also find it interesting to compare the two tables. Do you notice any relationship between the lunar eclipses and the solar eclipses? (If you would like a printable PDF version of the lunar table, click here.)

Lunar Eclipses 2000-2050

Solar Eclipses 2000-2050