If you possibly can, you should definitely try to get in a position to see the total eclipse, since this is the most spectacular astronomical phenomenon you will ever see! This page give the low-down on what you can expect to see, and where.
Please remember that a total solar eclipse is not safe to look at with the naked eye except during the few brief seconds or minutes of total eclipse, when the Sun itself is completely obscured by the Moon. At all other times, you must use proper solar viewing protection. For more information, see our eye safety page.
The total eclipse worldwide begins at 16:49 UT and ends at 20:03 UT, crossing the face of the Earth in three hours and 14 minutes. In the US, the total eclipse reaches land in Oregon at 17:15:58 UT and ends in South Carolina at 18:49:12 UT; the shadow of the Moon races across the US in just over one and a half hours. The total eclipse will occur at the centre of a partial eclipse, which will typically last over 2 and a half hours. However, the time at which you will see the eclipse, and the type and duration of the eclipse you see, will depend entirely on where you are.
This map shows the path of the total eclipse; hover over a circle on the centreline to see the circumstances at that point. You can zoom (using the controls on the left) and pan (by dragging) to see more detail.
To see a total eclipse, you must be within the path of totality shaded in blue on the map above; and to see a total eclipse lasting for a decent length of time, you want to be towards the centre of the path (in terms of north to south), not at the edges where the duration will be very short. However, you don't need to be at the exact centre; the duration falls off very slowly from the middle, and more quickly at the edges. Anywhere in the middle third of the path will let you see a total eclipse within about 90% of the duration on the centreline.
In terms of where to be along the path, this isn't quite as important. The shortest duration seen in the US is on the Oregon coast, where the eclipse will last one minute 59 seconds on the centre of the path of totality; if you travel to the point of the longest eclipse, which is near Carbondale, IL, you will see 2 minutes 40 seconds of totality. This is longer, certainly, but not immensely so.
More important than east/west location is the weather forecast. A cloudy sky will ruin your total eclipse experience (I've been there!), so aim for a location which has a good chance of clear skies. This largely favours the west of the US; Oregon (not the coast), Idaho, central Wyoming, and western Nebraska are the best bet; but in the end the weather is unpredictable, so when the time comes, watch the weather forecast! For more info, and links to even more, see the weather page.
The total eclipse starts at 16:49 UT in the Pacific, far north of Hawaii; the islands will see the Sun rise partially eclipsed. After this the path of totality moves quickly east to the US mainland.
The total eclipse makes landfall in the US at Oregon, on the coast between Lincoln City and Newport. The centreline hits the south end of Lincoln Beach. Observers here will see the partial eclipse begin at 16:04:33 UT; the total eclipse will last one minute 59 seconds, from 17:15:58–17:17:57 UT; and the partial eclipse ends at 18:36:07 UT. The path of totality is 99 km (61.5 miles) wide here, so anywhere within about 17 km (10.6 miles) of the centreline should see a good long eclipse.
The eclipse path moves inland, passing between Salem and Albany, but both towns are well within the path of totality; Salem will see a total eclipse lasting 1m56s, and Albany 1m50s, both with maximum eclipse at 17:18 UT. The duration on the centreline is 2 minutes exactly. Portland sadly misses the total eclipse entirely; it will see a dramatic partial eclipse of over 99%, but it would be a crying shame not to go a bit south and see the amazing total eclipse.
Moving east, the path crosses the Cascades; the centreline crosses just north of Detroit Lake, and Detroit will see a total eclipse lasting 2 minutes and 1 second, with maximum eclipse at 17:19:19 UT.
Madras is also close to the centreline; here the partial eclipse will last from 16:06:44–18:41:06 UT, and the total eclipse will last 2 minutes 2 seconds, with maximum at 17:20:37 UT. The duration on the centreline to the north is just a second longer.
The eclipse moves towards Idaho between Baker City, which sees 1m35s of totality, and Ontario, which sees 1m25s; on the centreline between the two the total eclipse lasts for 2 minutes 9 seconds, and peaks at 17:25:55 UT.
Boise is unfortunately south of the eclipse path, and will see a 99% partial eclipse; but a little travel to the north will reward you with 2 minutes 11 seconds of total eclipse. Idaho Falls fares better, seeing 1m47s of totality; Rexburg, to the north, is closer to the centreline, and sees 2m17s of total eclipse with the maximum at 17:34:24 UT.
The total eclipse path just touches the south-western corner of Montana; on the summit of Italian Peak, the eclipse will last just 49 seconds, so Montanans would be well advised to go south for a better view.
Grand Teton national park sees the total eclipse, but the weather prospects are not the best in the mountains; farther east, Riverton offers a better chance of clear skies, with 2 minutes and 11 seconds of total eclipse. The south end of Boysen Reservoir is right on the centreline; here the total eclipse will last 2m24s, with the maximum at 17:40:32 UT. The partial eclipse lasts from 16:19:54–19:05:38 UT.
East again, Casper is also right on the centreline (the south side of town, specifically). Here the partial eclipse starts at 16:22:16 UT; the total eclipse last from 17:42:38–17:45:04 UT; and the partial eclipse ends at 19:09:26 UT. With a path of totality now up to 109 km (67.7 miles) wide, anywhere within 18 km (11.2 miles) or so of the centre will see a long eclipse.
The path of totality passes over Scottsbluff, but to the north, so the town sees just 1m38s of total eclipse; Alliance is closer to the centre, and will see 2m30s of total eclipse, with the maximum at 17:50:28 UT. The duration on the centreline is barely different. Farther east, North Platte is also within the southern part of the path, getting a total eclipse of 1m43s; but a little trip up US 83 will stretch that to 2m33s, with the maximum at 17:55:19 UT.
Grand Island is closer to the centre of the eclipse. It will see the partial eclipse begin at 16:34:21 UT, then the total eclipse last from 17:58:35–18:01:09 UT; the partial eclipse ends at 17:59:52 UT. South of town on the centreline the eclipse lasts just a second and a half more; the path of totality is 112 km (69.6 miles) wide.
Lincoln is close to the north edge of the eclipse path, and sees just 1m19s of total eclipse; it would be well worth heading south or west from here to see a longer eclipse. Beatrice is better placed, with 2m35s.
The total eclipse path clips the north-east corner of Kansas; Kansas City (KS, and the one in MO) is pretty much on the edge, and residents would do well to head north for a better view. Atchison does better, with 2m18s of total eclipse, the maximum coming at 18:07:24 UT; closer to St. Joseph MO would be even better.
The path also just barely touches Iowa, in the Hamburg Bend area; but with just 25 seconds of total eclipse, this is not a good place to be.
In Missouri, one of the first places to see the total eclipse is Rock Port, which gets 1m35s of totality, with maximum at 18:05:52 UT. However St. Joseph is much better placed; in fact it's right on the centreline. Here the partial eclipse begins at 16:40:41 UT; the total eclipse lasts from 18:06:28–18:09:06 UT; and the partial eclipse ends at 19:34:36 UT. The path of totality is 113 km (70.2 miles) wide. With 2 minutes 38 seconds of total eclipse, this is almost as much eclipse as it's possible to see, so the town is exceptionally well placed. The only possible wrinkle is the weather.
Even so, the eclipse is not yet at maximum; Marshall will see 2m39s of totality, and even though the centre of the eclipse passes between Columbia and Jefferson City, they will still get 2m36s and 2m29s respectively. St. Louis is sadly off the north edge of the eclipse path; but go a little south to Festus for 2m37s of total eclipse, with the maximum at 18:18:26 UT. Ste. Genevieve is right on the centreline, with 2m40s of total eclipse peaking at 18:19:25 UT.
The eclipse reaches its point of greatest duration in Illinios, so even towns fairly far off the centreline will see a dramatic total eclipse. Red Bud gets 2m21s of totality, with maximum at 18:19:16 UT; and Sparta 2m16s at 18:19:58 UT. Carbondale, though, is closer to the centreline, and will see a 2m37s total eclipse, with the maximum at 18:21:26 UT.
Cedar Lake, to the south of Carbondale, is a particularly auspicious place. It is not only on the centreline of this eclipse, and very close to its maximum point, but also on the centreline of the total solar eclipse of 8 Apr, 2024, when it will see 4 minutes and 9 seconds of total eclipse! Carbondale will have basically the same experience that day. This time around, the lake will see a partial eclipse start at 16:52:22 UT; the total eclipse will last from 18:20:04–18:22:44 UT; and the partial eclipse will end at 19:47:31 UT.
The point of Greatest Duration of the eclipse happens just a little farther on, just south of Devils Kitchen Lake. The duration here is also 2m40s; and the path of totality is 115 km (71.5 miles) wide at this point, its maximum width.
Paducah is to the south of the centreline, but still gets 2m21s of total eclipse, with the maximum at 18:23:28 UT. Princeton is closer, though. Here the partial eclipse begins at 16:55:34 UT; the total eclipse runs from 18:23:35–18:26:15 UT; and the partial eclipse ends at 19:50:41 UT. This is very close to the longest duration of the eclipse.
In fact the point of Greatest Eclipse (when the Moon is centred in front of the Sun) occurs just a little farther on, between Princeton and Hopkinsville. I'm sure Kentuckians and Illinoisans will argue over whether Greatest Duration or Greatest Eclipse is more important, but it really doesn't matter — both will offer spectacular eclipse views, weather permitting. Hopkinsville sees a 2m40s total eclipse, with the maximum at 18:26:02 UT.
Springfield has a good view of the eclipse as it enters the state, with 2m37s of total eclipse, the maximum being at 18:27:45 UT. Nashville is in the southern part of the eclipse track, with the centre of town seeing 1m56s of total eclipse, still very impressive; but Gallatin is almost right on the centreline. Here the partial eclipse begins at 16:59:05 UT; the total eclipse lasts from 18:27:28–18:30:07 UT; and the partial eclipse ends at 19:54:11 UT.
Farther along, Knoxville is just off the eclipse path; but go down to the area of Madisonville, and the total eclipse lasts 2m38s, with maximum at 18:34:14 UT.
The centreline of the total eclipse path enters North Carolina's south-west corner, and passes almost right over Andrews. Here the total eclipse will last 2m38s; the eclipse is technically waning at this point, but very slowly, so this will still be an amazing spectacle. Maximum eclipse will be at 18:35:46 UT, and the partial eclipse will last almost three hours.
The whole south-west corner of the state will see the eclipse; Whittier, for example, is north of the centreline, but will still see 1m46s of totality. The path is still 115 km (71.5 miles) wide here, so anywhere within 19 km (11.8 miles) or so of the centreline will see close to the maximum length of eclipse.
The eclipse path cuts across Georgia's north-east corner; Cleveland is just on the edge, seeing 39 seconds of total eclipse, but Clayton, to the north-east, is much closer to the centreline. Here the partial eclipse starts at 17:06:59 UT; the total eclipse lasts from 18:35:49–18:38:23 UT; and the partial eclipse ends at 20:01:27 UT. With 2m34s of total eclipse, this is still close to the maximum duration.
Greenville is quite far north of the centreline, but will still see an impressive 2m10s of total eclipse, peaking at 18:39:08 UT. Clemson, to the west, will see 2m37s half a minute earlier.
Columbia is quite close to the centreline; here the partial eclipse begins at 17:13:06 UT, the total eclipse lasts from 18:41:50–18:44:20 UT, and the partial eclipse ends at 20:06:20 UT. The town is excellently placed; south-west on the centreline, the duration is just 6 seconds longer, at 2m36s. Orangeburg also sees a good eclipse, at 2m22s in duration, with the maximum at 18:44:14 UT. The path of totality is still 115 km (71.5 miles) wide here.
The total eclipse leaves land just north of Charleston. Charleston itself will see 1m33s of total eclipse, with the maximum at 18:47:11 UT; it could be well worth heading north, to the Francis Marion National Forest, where the centreline of the eclipse offers 2m34s of total eclipse, the maximum on US 17 coming at 18:47:29 UT. Georgetown is north of the centreline, and will see 1m45s of totality; again, it would be worth a little travel to see a longer eclipse.
And that's it for seeing the eclipse on land. The total eclipse path races across the Atlantic, finally ending just south-west of the Cape Verde islands at 20:03 UT; the islands will see a dramatic partial eclipse at sunset.