The countdown to the ‘Great South American Eclipse’ has begun | Sunday Observer

The countdown to the ‘Great South American Eclipse’ has begun

Two summers ago, on August 21, 2017, thousands of people from across the world witnessed the “Great American Solar Eclipse,” the first total solar eclipse to occur exclusively over the continental United States since January 11, 1880. Now, stargazers are getting excited to watch the Sun disappear again for a brief period on July 2, 2019 — this time, the eclipse's narrow path will extend across the South Pacific all the way to Chile and Argentina.

The “Great South American Eclipse” is particularly thrilling for astronomy fans because two world-class observatories — the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and the La Silla Observatory — lie directly in the path of totality. The powerful telescopes, positioned in Chile's remote areas known for their clear skies, will capture the stunning phenomenon live and broadcast it to hundreds of countries and millions of people worldwide. Meanwhile, over 400,000 “eclipse chasers” plan to descend to Chile's Coquimbo region, which lies in the path of totality, to watch the wondrous spectacle in person.

The maximum totality of the eclipse — the largest amount of time the moon will cover the Sun — is expected to be four minutes and thirty seconds, or about 70 per cent longer than the 2017 Great American Eclipse, which lasted 2 minutes and 40 seconds.