Much of the hype surrounding this year's total solar eclipse was warranted: It was the first one visible across the continental United States in 99 years.
However, if you couldn't be in the path of totality to catch the spectacle at its peak, or you didn't manage to watch even the partial eclipse, it isn't the end of the world. Witnessing a total solar eclipse is often referred to as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But this saying is a little deceptive, especially now.
It's true that it is very rare for someone to see a total solar eclipse from the same spot twice in their life. But it isn't impossible. And if you live in the U.S., you won't have to wait another 99 years to see one. The next total solar eclipse to cross the country will occur on April 8, 2024.
The key difference between the 2024 eclipse and this year's eclipse is the path of totality: Carbondale, IL, is the only city to lie on the narrow paths in both 2017 and 2024. While Oregon and South Carolina were hot spots to watch the moon cover the sun in 2017, parts of Texas, New York, and Maine will be key viewing locations in 2024.
If you think seven years sounds like a long time away, don't fool yourself: Eclipse chasers are known to start planning as soon as one eclipse is over. If you want to see the eclipse from a New York City landmark, now's the time to start booking. (If you want some pointers, check out where people in Manhattan went to see this year's partial eclipse.)
If you can't wait until 2024, you don't have to. The next total solar eclipse will occur on July 2, 2019 in South America.
Just don't wait until the last second to make your plans and purchase those elusive eclipse glasses.