Solar eclipses are utterly predictable yet utterly magical. Predictable in that we can now plot their exact time and place far into the future. Magical in being like nothing else on earth or the heavens, as inspiring to hard-bitten astronomers as wondering children, as the moon's silhouette seems to devour the sun then holds it in a dark embrace as the world falls twilit and silent, before the light returns and the planet breathes again. Authors have used the sun's vanishing act to get eclipse-savvy heroes off the hook by appearing to have magical powers, while historians have used eclipses as date markers deep into ancient history - Babylonian clay tablets, for example, tell us what everyone was probably talking about the evening of May 3, 1375 BC in ancient Mesopotamia.
Forget birthdays. Solar eclipses prompt cosmic global celebrations every year.
With our solar eclipse travel guide, you really can predict the future and find a great way to spend it.