Partial solar eclipse April 2022: when and where it is and how to watch it online

The first solar eclipse of 2022 will occur on April 30. There will be a narrow band of visibility over parts of Antarctica, the southern tip of South America, and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Or, you can watch it online.

Solar eclipses occur when the new moon crosses the face of the sun from Earth’s perspective. (Never look directly at the sun with your eyes; instead, follow the safety guide later in this article to help you.)

Partial solar eclipses occur when the moon blocks only part of the solar disk. In this case, about 64% of the solar disk will be erased at most, according to NASA. The amount will vary depending on your viewing location.

Related: Incredible Images of Solar Eclipses from Around the World

There will be no total solar eclipses in 2022. However, another partial solar eclipse on October 25 will be visible from Europe, northeast Africa, the Middle East and western Asia , according to NASA.

The next solar eclipse will be on April 20, 2023; this eclipse will be a hybrid eclipse, displaying the characteristics of both a total solar eclipse and a “ring of fire” or annular solar eclipse. The next total solar eclipse visible from North America will be on April 8, 2024; all of which will be visible from Mexico, the central United States and eastern Canada.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of the April 30 partial solar eclipse.

When is the solar eclipse and how to watch online

Partial eclipses last a bit longer than total solar eclipses. During total eclipses, we are subject to the very small shadow of the moon, which can briefly cover the entire face of the sun. Partial phases, however, last much longer.

While the visibility of the eclipse depends on your region, timeanddate.com has information on when the eclipse begins and ends around the world. The eclipse will first be visible at 2:45 p.m. EDT (6:45 p.m. GMT). The maximum eclipse will occur a few hours later at 4:41 p.m. EDT (2041 GMT). Then the eclipse will end at 6:37 p.m. EDT (22:37 GMT).

There will be live streams of the event if you, like most skywatchers, can’t catch it in person. Timeanddate.com will have a live blog (not a stream) available on this page; he has yet to release a timeline on when that will happen. Additionally, the YouTube channel Gyaan ki gareebi Live will start streaming at the start of the eclipse.

What will the partial solar eclipse look like?

A dove photobombed this photo of the partial solar eclipse on March 20, 2015, in this image taken from Munich, Germany. (Image credit: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty)

A partial solar eclipse often feels like the moon has “bitten off” or removed a piece of the sun. You can picture this very clearly when you think about the geometry of the solar system: Because the moon is closer to Earth than the sun, it can pass in front of us.

The size of the “bite” you see depends on your location. The largest magnitude will be approximately at the tip of South America and the surrounding ocean, according to timeanddate.com, so most earthlings will have to settle for a rather smaller “bite.”

When a total solar eclipse occurs, it is due to a happy coincidence. The diameter of the sun is 400 times larger than that of the moon, but the moon orbits 400 times closer to the Earth than the Earth orbits the sun. Every 18 months or so, the trajectories coincide in such a way as to allow for a total solar eclipse.

Visibility maps for the partial solar eclipse

A visibility map of the partial solar eclipse of April 30, 2022. (Image credit: NASA)

This particular solar eclipse will take place in largely uninhabited regions. It will include parts of Antarctica, the southern tip of South America, and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans; most of the viewing area will be above water.

As a result, there probably won’t be many live streams available for this event. Timeanddate.com will have a live blog (not a stream) available on this page. In addition, the YouTube channel Gyaan ki gareebi Live will launch a broadcast at the start of the eclipse.

Tips for observing solar eclipses

WARNING: Looking directly at the sun can cause blindness and other forms of permanent eye damage if you don’t wear proper eye protection.

Solar Eclipse Viewing Tips:

To observe the sun or watch an eclipse safely, you must use special protective glasses or certified eclipse glasses. Basic sunglasses won’t protect you, even if they have UV protection. In fact, the surest way to observe an eclipse is through indirect methods, using an easy-to-grab pinhole camera with home gear.

If you want to use a camera, be sure to use special sun filters on your equipment. Your smartphone also needs protective filters, and if you use it, stick to a wide-angle single click to protect the camera.

NASA advises extreme caution when viewing solar eclipses, stressing that it is safe to remove your glasses only during the total phases of a total solar eclipse. For partial eclipses, keep glasses on at all times. (For total eclipses, NASA has a guide for when to remove glasses.)

What causes solar eclipses?

A solar eclipse (Image credit: Getty Images)

Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes in front of the sun. Because the moon only covers the sun perfectly when the geometry is perfect, partial solar eclipses like this are much more common.

The sun is about 400 times bigger than the moon, but the moon orbits the Earth about 400 times closer than the Earth orbits the sun. Sometimes the moon is close enough and in the right position to completely cover the sun from Earth’s perspective for 7.5 minutes. However, this situation only occurs every 18 months. Partial eclipses occur much more often.

Eclipses occur when the moon is in its new phase, but due to its 5 degree tilt from Earth’s orbit around the sun, you won’t see an eclipse every new moon. But at least twice a year (sometimes up to five times a year), a new moon can align to eclipse the sun.

The alignments repeat in a pattern known as the Saros cycle. Ultimately, how an eclipse occurs depends on the distance between the Moon and Earth and, to a lesser extent, the distance between Earth and the Sun.

when is the next solar eclipse?

A total solar eclipse photographed from Madras, Oregon in 2017.​​ (Image credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

The next solar eclipse, after the April 30 partial solar eclipse, will be partial on October 25, according to NASA. It will be visible in Europe, North East Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Then, in 2023, there will be two solar eclipses. On April 20, we can expect a hybrid eclipse. This special type of eclipse occurs when the moon’s distance is close to its limit for the umbra – the part of the moon’s shadow where all the sun is blocked by the moon – to reach Earth. Only certain regions will experience totality with this eclipse. The hybrid eclipse will be visible in Indonesia, part of Australia and Papua New Guinea, and the eclipse will be visible in other forms in Southeast Asia, East India, other parts of Australia, the Philippines and New Zealand.

The second eclipse of 2023 will occur on October 14 and will be visible from North America, Central America, and South America. It will be an annular eclipse, which means the sun forms a “ring of fire” around the sun. The annular phase will be best visible in the western United States, Central America, Colombia and Brazil.

We will finally see a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 in North and Central America. The total phase will be visible from Mexico, the central United States and eastern Canada.

Another eclipse in 2024, annular, will occur on October 2. It will be visible in the Pacific and southern South America, with the annular phase best visible in southern Chile and southern Argentina.

Editor’s note: If you take a great photo of a solar eclipse and want to share it with Space.com readers, send your photo(s), comments, and name and location to [email protected]

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Luz W. German