We all recently lived through a great historical moment: the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. I’m sure I am not the only person in the country who ran around early on that Monday morning trying to find those stylish cardboard eclipse glasses, which I never did procure. You’d think there would have been sidewalk hawkers selling them for $20 a pair, right? As each minute passed, in the final hour before the moon slowly began covering the sun, they could have hiked the price up 50 cents a minute and I still might have bought a pair; there was money to be made on saps like myself who hadn’t planned ahead.
While I certainly found the event exciting, there was no way I was going to hop in my car and drive 300 miles to Wyoming to experience the 100 percent path of totality when 92 percent in my own back yard seemed just fine. I do, however, know people who undertook that long drive for those two minutes of total darkness—and kudos to them.
If you are a total eclipse chaser and somehow missed it, do not be disheartened. I did a little homework, and found that you can hop on a plane and head for Chile or Argentina on July 2, 2019 for the next big blackout. Or, if you’re not so picky about the type of eclipse you want to see, your cup runneth over with choices: this decade, there are 24 eclipses and although 18 have already passed, you still have six to look forward to. You can still see annular and partial eclipses in this queue. Then, catch your breath because the 2020s will have 22 more with one total eclipse in the U.S. that will be seen from Texas to New England on April 8, 2024.
Whether or not you’re an eclipse chaser, just remember that there is money to be made here. Order 5,000 of those cardboard eclipse sunglasses, stand on a street corner with a sign and a goofy outfit, and sell them at $20 a pop until just before the lights go out—then increase the price and watch the desperate latecomers line up and pay out. They will be able to stare at the sun while you laugh all the way to the bank. A great moment in history will be even greater with a little extra cash padding your pockets.