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What if you missed the eclipse?

Posted at 6:06 PM, Aug 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-21 18:11:14-04

As millions of Americans looked up to the skies on Aug. 21, there is a possibility you missed Monday's summer's total solar eclipse. 

One obvious reason is due to weather. Clouds and storms blocked the view for some in the path of the total solar eclipse, especially in Missouri. For others, work and school obligations might have kept us away from seeing the eclipse. 

Since the last time any part of the Lower 48 saw a total solar eclipse was nearly four decades ago, it would seem the odds of seeing another total solar eclipse in the near future is unlikely. But unlike the wait for the Aug. 21 eclipse, the next total solar eclipse in the United States is only in seven years. 

RELATED: The next total solar eclipse will be in 2024

Instead of the total eclipse path going from coast to coast, the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 will stretch from border to border. A narrow swath from Texas to Maine will see a total solar eclipse. 

Residents near Dallas, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Buffalo will all see a total solar eclipse. The rest of the country will get to see a partial solar eclipse. 

For those lucky enough to live in Southern Illinois, they not only saw Monday's solar eclipse in totality, they'll also see the 2024 solar eclipse in totality. 

If you miss the 2024 eclipse, there will be a few more opportunities to see a total solar eclipse in the 2040s. Montana and North Dakota will be in the path of a total solar eclipse in 2044. In 2045, a coast to coast total solar eclipse will stretch from California to Florida. 

Another type of solar eclipse comes in 2023. It is known as an annular eclipse. Unlike a total solar eclipse when the moon completely blocks the sun, the moon is unable to fully obscure the sun's light, leaving a ring around the moon's shadow.

The 2023 annular solar eclipse can be seen on the west coast.  

While it might be tempting to save your solar eclipse glasses for a few years, experts recommend replacing the glasses after 3 years.