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If you miss this year's complete eclipse, next one to appear in U.S. in 2044

By Brian Lada, Accuweather.com
In Ladue, Mo., in March, Kimberly Armstrong shades her eyes as she tries on a pair of glasses designed to look at the sun for the upcoming eclipse. After two total solar eclipses just seven years apart, people will have to wait until the twin eclipses of 2044 and 2045 for the next opportunity to see the moon completely block out the sun in the sky over the contiguous United States. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
In Ladue, Mo., in March, Kimberly Armstrong shades her eyes as she tries on a pair of glasses designed to look at the sun for the upcoming eclipse. After two total solar eclipses just seven years apart, people will have to wait until the twin eclipses of 2044 and 2045 for the next opportunity to see the moon completely block out the sun in the sky over the contiguous United States. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Monday's total solar eclipse is the biggest astronomy event of the decade, and people who miss the show will have to wait at least 20 years for the next chance to see a similar spectacle from the United States.

After two total solar eclipses just seven years apart, people will have to wait until the twin eclipses of 2044 and 2045 for the next opportunity to see the moon completely block out the sun in the sky over the contiguous United States.

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Several total solar eclipses happen elsewhere in the world between now and the 2040s, but seeing them will require international travel, which can be expensive and logistically complex.

The exception will be the total solar eclipse on March 30, 2033, although it will only be visible in a remote part of northwestern Alaska.

The next chance many Americans will have to see a total solar eclipse without traveling outside of the country will be on Aug. 22, 2044.

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Only three states are in the path of totality, including areas of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. Parts of the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan will also be in the path of totality.

This will be an intriguing event as it will take place right before sunset, meaning the sun will be low in the sky and photographers will have picturesque scenes to capture stunning images and videos.

Large crowds are likely to pack into the north-central U.S., especially those who do not have a passport and cannot cross the border into Canada.

This will also be the first of two total solar eclipses visible in the U.S. in less than one year's time.

A cross-country eclipse more impressive than those in 2017 and 2024 will unfold over the United States on Aug. 12, 2045. Areas from California to Florida will be plunged into darkness, as well as parts of the Bahamas, Hispaniola and a sliver of South America.

The path of the 2045 eclipse will be a near-copy of the 2017 Great American eclipse, which was seen from Oregon to South Carolina, the primary difference being that the path will be a bit farther to the south.

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The 2045 eclipse also has two major factors that already have skywatchers excited: how long totality will last and the odds of good weather.

The weather in mid-August across the path of totality favors cloud-free conditions according to historical weather data, particularly across the West, Rocky Mountains and Plains. The Southeast has the highest chance for clouds due to typical summertime thunderstorms and the risk of a tropical system amid the Atlantic hurricane season.

Additionally, the 2045 event will be the third-longest total solar eclipse of the century, clocking in at just over 6 minutes of darkness in part of Florida. This is incredibly long as far as eclipses go, as the longest a total solar eclipse can be is 7 minutes and 32 seconds.

Nearly six months later, on Feb. 5, 2046, a "ring of fire" solar eclipse will take place over Hawaii, Northern California, southern Oregon, northern Nevada and southwestern Idaho.

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