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Eclipse chasing

Are you a newcomer or a totality hunter?
Let’s talk about future total solar eclipses. It’s for newbies as well as the fanatics. After this month’s coast-to-coast event, the addicted group may well number in the millions.

Some eclipse chasers — those who seek out the thrill of an eclipse over and over, including literally following the Sun on its path during a single event — are so hooked, they rarely miss a totality and crisscross the globe. When planning such trips, cost and convenience figure prominently. But weather may top the list of basic concerns: A friend went to seven eclipses, but was clouded out of four.

Choices are limited. There’s only a single total solar eclipse each year, and every three to four years, there are none. Upcoming zero years are 2018, 2022, 2025, and 2029.

An eclipse happens only during “eclipse seasons” six months apart, which drift 11 days earlier each year. Thus, after the long Baja eclipse on July 11, 1991, the next was June 30, 1992.

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