Coincidental eclipses

There will be a lunar eclipse early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, the same day as the winter solstice. This hasn’t happened since 1554 AD. What I’m wondering is: Has there ever been, or will there ever be, a total *solar *eclipse coinciding with a solstice or equinox?

And not only that, it is the night of the full moon as well!

Lunar eclipses can ONLY happen at full moon

I don’t know how closely you would time the “coincidence,” but on Mar 20, 2015, there will be a total solar eclipse in the mid-morning (UTC) over Iceland; the vernal quinox occurs that night at 22:45 UTC.

The nodes of the moon’s orbit (which are the points at which the moon’s orbit crosses the ecliptic, and a solar or lunar eclipse can only occur when the moon is at one node or the other) move all the way around the ecliptic on an approximately 18.6 year cycle. They don’t avoid the solstices or equinoxes. There’s no reason why there couldn’t be a solar eclipse on a solstice or equinox.

That, of course, is the issue. Tonight’s lunar eclipse and the summer solstice are separated by more than 15 hours. And they don’t occur on the same day here anyway.

I’d say that tonight’s eclipse is separated by a good six months or so from the summer solstice.

Not if you’re in Australia.

You Australians, so contrary. When we say it’s day, you say it’s night. We say winter, you say summer. :p:p

The Moon is going to turn to blood at the solstice. Why am I the only one concerned about this?

I mean, this has got to be one of the top five Evil portents of all time.

Aw, be nice. Upper elevations of New South Wales and Victoria got a foot of snow last night, just before the summer solstice Down Under.


I saw the total eclipse of June 21, 2001 in Zambia.

The summer solstice was at 07:38 UTC, which is just less than three hours before the earliest possible visibility of the total eclipse, at 10:35UTC in the south Atlantic.

I started a similar thread a while back.

Most assuredly. There are on average about two total solar eclipses every three years, with an average duration of roughly eight hours.

(By average duration I mean the average time the eclipse is total from somewhere on earth; the duration from any one location is less than eight minutes.)

In other words we have totality for about (2/3) * (1/3) = 0.22 days every year, out of 365. Taking the reciprocal, any given time (such as an equinox or solstice) will occur during an eclipse about once every 1,650 years–a long time, but an eye-blink in the history of the planet.

IT was too cloudy to see it here. :mad: