Photos: Sky darkens over South America during last total solar eclipse of the decade
The first solar eclipse since the Great American Eclipse in 2017 will soar across the southern region of South America on July 2. The eclipse will attract many tourists and eclipse chasers, including Gordon Telepun, an avid fan who will be seeing his fifth eclipse.
Millions of sky gazers were left in awe Tuesday as the moon blocked out the sun over Chile and Argentina -- a celestial event that drew worldwide attention.
The eclipse was only visible across the southern Pacific Ocean and South America, but people from around the world tuned in to watch it on NASA TV.
"I've traveled from the UK [and] this was my 1st eclipse," Carol Wright told AccuWeather. Wright watched the eclipse from an observatory from La Silla, Chile.
"It was the most incredible multi-sensory thing I’ve ever seen," Wright said. She lives in Hull, about 200 miles north of London. "I’m not sure seeing it more than once would ever be as good as the first time!"
The shadow of the moon began to traverse the southern Pacific Ocean around 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday and was clearly visible on weather satellite imagery.
The first place on the continent to see the total solar eclipse was La Serena, Chile, and the last place was just south of Buenos Aires, Argentina. However, clouds interfered with viewing the event from near Buenos Aires.
Totality lasted for a little more than 2 minutes for people that strategically placed themselves in this narrow area on Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, much of the balance of the continent witnessed a partial solar eclipse.
A lot happened in the two to two-and-a-half minutes during totality. The temperature dropped. Bright stars and planets appeared in the darkened sky. Crickets started chirping. Street lights turned on. Animals acted differently. Looking down at the horizon reveled a 360-degree sunrise/sunset. Then just two minutes later, the first beams of light shined down as the moon gradually uncovered the sun, and everything began to return to normal.
This map shows the path of totality for the solar eclipse on July 2, 2019. The path of totality is the only area that the total solar eclipse will be visible.
South America will also be home to the next total solar eclipse, set for Dec. 14, 2020.
People across North America pining to see a total solar eclipse arguably better than the Great American Eclipse of 2017 will need to wait until April 8, 2024.
The eclipse coming in five years will not be visible coast-to-coast, but the path of totality, or area where the total eclipse is visible, will pass over several large metropolitan areas. This includes Dallas; Indianapolis; Cleveland; Buffalo, New York; and Montreal, Quebec. Because of this, it has the potential to become the most-observed and most-photographed solar eclipse of all time.
For more details about this eclipse, click here.Report a Typo