Well, if you are looking for something special to do this summer, you can head to Chile or Argentina to watch a total eclipse of the Sun. Being that it will occur on July 2nd, it will be wintertime there, so keep that in mind.
South America is the only continent to see a total eclipse this year. It will start over the western South Pacific and end near the coast of Argentina. The Sun’s umbra will cross the shores of Chile first, though. So, only two countries will see totality. Everyone else in South America will only see a partial eclipse of the Sun…mostly!
Having looked over a map by Xavier Jubier of this year’s eclipse, I found only one island in the western Pacific called Oeno Island that is in the path of totality. There may be other islands, but I couldn’t find them. I just read that you can watch this eclipse from Oeno Island for $11,000. Photographs of the island look very tropical. Wikipedia says it is unpopulated, at the moment.
A total eclipse of the Sun can last a maximum of seven minutes and 31 seconds, if you are lucky. In this particular instance, the maximum (or greatest totality), or longest darkness, will last four minutes and thirty-three seconds out over the Pacific (see graphic above). I am sure there will be plenty of cruise ships enjoying this event!
The only major city close to the path of totality is Buenos Aires. The center of the city will see only a partial eclipse with the Moon covering 99.7% of the Sun. Once you are in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, the 99.7% turns into 100% which means totality.
To give you an idea in what I am saying, there is a small town called Ezeiza, outside of Buenos Aires that is in the path of totality, which will see one minute of darkness. The center path of totality is two minutes long. In fact, the maximum length of totality is two minutes for both Chile and Argentina. Keep in mind, the Sun will be very, very close to the horizon near Buenos Aires!
This should be a wonderful celestial event to see. However, please protect your eyes during the partial phase of this solar eclipse; if not, you may go blind! Eclipse glasses or # 14 welder’s glass will work (nothing less). But during totality, take them off!
The next total eclipse of the Sun will again occur in Chile and Argentina, but much further south this time. The eclipse will fall on the date of December 14th, 2020 – close to the beginning of summer. Two in a row!
Music by Henry Mancini – Moon River Cha Cha
A total solar eclipse will grace South America this July through Chile and Argentina, only. No major city is in the path. Buenos Aires will see 99.7% coverage (so close).
The cities on the right of the pink line will not see maximum coverage. Suns disappearing in the animation are the Suns setting at sunset.
Wintertime for Argentina and Chile on July 2nd!
Music by Perez Prado – MAMBO No 5
Total eclipse of the Sun as seen from the coast of Chile in the town of Coquimbo at 4:39 pm local time. The Sun is 14 degrees from the horizon at this moment. (Click on the picture to make it larger.)
Venus is near the Sun in the constellation of Gemini. Venus is approaching superior conjunction, or moving to the far side of the Sun (in relationship to us), in August, which is why Venus is so close to the eclipse.
As you approach the area of Buenos Aires, the totally eclipsed Sun will be very close to the horizon. With that in mind, you should concern yourself about obstructions like buildings and trees. Also keep in mind of the weather for it can mess up your view of this special event…especially, near the horizon!
Found this on YouTube the other day…neat!