Late on Tuesday afternoon, the moon blocked the solar in South America.
Millions of individuals dwelling in cities from La Serena, Chile, to San Juan, Argentina, had been witness the occasion as shadows unfold over hills and an uncanny coolness invades deserts. Many extra have ventured to the area particularly for the spectacle — one which some astronomers referred to as the Great South American Eclipse.
The celestial phenomenon was the first complete photo voltaic eclipse since August 2017, producing pleasure amongst skilled astronomers, eclipse chasers and informal observers as a result of it provided the alternative to see pale tendrils of the solar’s ambiance, or corona.
“We only get a few minutes to see the solar corona during an eclipse,” stated Ivo Saviane, an astronomer at the La Silla Observatory located on the outskirts of the Chilean Atacama Desert. “But this is a great chance to see the corona shoot ultrahot gas and study mechanisms like solar wind, which are still quite mysterious,” he stated.[See photos from Tuesday’s solar eclipse.]
It started above the southern Pacific Ocean at 12:55 p.m. Eastern time and then arced toward the western coast of Chile. As the moon bit into more of the sun, daylight slowly became dimmer.
La Serena, Chile, a city of about 200,000 people, was be the first in South America to experience the peak eclipse, or totality, at 4:38 p.m. Eastern time (the time zone is the same in Chile). Late Tuesday morning, The Associated Press reported that more than 300,000 visitors had gathered in the city for eclipse-watching, placing strain on its water and gasoline supplies as well as other city services.
Totality there lasted one or two minutes. Then the eclipse barreled east.
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Which places were in the eclipse’s path?
The path of the totality will track a strip of land about 90 miles wide, from La Serena to Chascomús, a city just south of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The luckiest eclipse viewers may have been people at Chile’s La Silla Observatory, situated on a mountaintop in the Atacama Desert.
Chile’s foreign ministry posted pictures on Twitter showing clear skies around the observatory, where the country’s president, Sebastian Piñera, plans to take in the spectacle.
But not everyone seeking a good view needed to trek out to the desert or up a mountain.
“The sun will be about 14 degrees above the horizon at the time of the total eclipse, so it will be really low,” Dr. Saviane said. “That means you can see the eclipse from anywhere, as long as there are no clouds obstructing your view.”
Skywatchers in Chascomús, Argentina, were be the last with a chance to see the totality, at 4:42 p.m. Eastern (or 5:42 p.m. local time in Argentina), although weather forecasts showed partly cloudy conditions there.
After that, the eclipse headed into the Atlantic Ocean and effectively ended when the sun set around 4:50 p.m. (5:50 p.m. local time).
Outside the path of totality, people were able to see a partial eclipse in the rest of Chile and Argentina as well as in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and even parts of Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela and Panama.
When is the next solar eclipse?
If you miss the solar eclipse, or are so transformed by viewing it that you want to chase the next one, don’t worry. Total solar eclipses happen somewhere around the world every 18 months or so.
The next one will happen as soon as December 2020. It will pass over Chile and Argentina again, as well as parts of southwest Africa and Antarctica. And the next one over the United States will be in 2024, blazing a northeast-bound path that starts in Mexico in the southwest and crosses the entire United States until it ends in Canada.
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