A total solar eclipse crossing the U.S. from coast to coast is drawing the attention of millions of Americans on Aug. 21, but when was the last total solar eclipse? The answer depends on where you are. It’s been a while since America has seen a total solar eclipse, but Earth as a whole sees one about once every 18 months. Here’s what you need to know:
Last Total Solar Eclipse in the U.S.
It’s been more than three decades since the total solar eclipse of Feb. 26, 1979, which crossed through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and North Dakota, before heading north to Canada, according to NASA. That’s the last time the contiguous U.S. has seen a total solar eclipse, until the one on Aug. 21, 2017.
Last Total Solar Eclipse Abroad
The last time a total solar eclipse crossed Earth was March 9, 2016. The total eclipse traversed parts of Indonesia, including Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi, while viewers in Australia and parts of south Asia and east Asia were able to see a partial eclipse, according to NASA.
If you miss Monday’s eclipse, here’s a list of all the upcoming total solar eclipses over the next 50 years.